Terriers Triumph Over Pistons

Story courtesy portageonline.com

The Portage Terriers have picked up the biggest win of their season. The Dogs handed the MJHL’s number one seeded Steinbach Pistons just their eighth regulation loss of the season Saturday night by a score of 5-2.

The first period didn’t start out great for Portage as they had a four-minute power-play five minutes into the contest and spent more time outside of their offensive zone than in it. A few minutes later, the Pistons had a power-play opportunity of their own, and Braden Birnie found the loose puck during a scramble in front and tapped it into the back of the net. 1-0 Steinbach.

Despite consistent pressure from the Pistons throughout the period, the Terriers kept fighting, and it paid off. The Dogs’ had the man advantage once again with five minutes to go in the frame, but this time they would capitalize. Brandon McCartney ripped a shot from the point, through traffic, that was tipped by Brenden Holba and beat goaltender Will Hambley to tie the game at one.

Less than two minutes later, Hayden Lacquette fired a perfectly placed shot just inside the blue line that zoomed past Hambley, high on the blocker side. This gave the Terriers the 2-1 lead after 20 minutes.

Early in the second period, Brandon Funk extended the lead all by himself. He brought the puck in along the boards and also went high on the blocker side to get the puck past Hambley.

Steinbach looked like they were going to answer as Davis Fry took a shot from the point that was stopped by Jayden Catellier, but the rebound was headed for the stick of Dawson Milliken, who was looking at a wide-open cage. Luckily for the Terriers, Holba stretched his stick out to chip the puck away before Milliken could get a shot off.

Midway through the second, the Terriers had another power-play chance. Lacquette’s slapshot was tipped by Austin Peters, who also had a whack at the rebound but was denied both times. However, Slade Stanick, who was making his first appearance in a Terrier uniform, was on the doorstep and made no mistake about it. 4-1 Portage.

A minute later, Tyler Dodgson found the loose puck in the crease as Hambley was down and out. He jammed it into the back of the net, giving the Dogs a commanding 5-1 lead heading into the third period and ending the night for Hambley.

Catellier made some stellar saves in the third period to keep the game out of reach, despite letting up one more to Zach Power with seven minutes to go. The goaltender ended up stopping 34 shots on the way to a 5-2 victory.

Terrier forward Slade Stanick describes the keys to the win.

“I thought we just came out flying. We got a lot of pucks in deep to start,” says Stanick. “Our power-play was on fire, and it has been for the last two games. It just felt like we did a lot of things right tonight.”

While this win was huge for the Terriers, forward Brandon Funk says they’ll have to stay level-headed as they have three more games coming up against the Pistons.

“We all feel great and we’re all pumped, but we have to get set for the next few games coming up,” Funk explains. “Everyone has got to stay humble and get ready.”

The Terriers and Pistons will be in action next in Steinbach, on Wednesday with puck drop set for 7:30.