Story by River Foster (portageonline.com)
The Portage Terriers are winners of ten straight games. The Dogs defeated the Winkler Flyers 3-2 on home ice tonight, giving Portage an eight-point cushion for first place in the MJHL standings.
The Terriers were looking good in their new jerseys that they were wearing for Central Plains Cancer Services. The jerseys were donated by the Portage Professional Fire Fighters Local 1079 auctioned off during the game. The event raised over $4,700!
After a scoreless first period, the action picked up early in the second. Brandon McCartney picked up a cross-checking penalty less than two minutes into the frame and gave Winkler their second power-play opportunity.
While Winkler had the man-advantage, the Terriers used it to their advantage. Mike Stubbs was sprung on a breakaway and made no mistake about it. However, with less than 15 seconds left in the power-play, the Flyers responded as Zach Nicolas tipped the puck past Bailey Monteith. 1-1.
Near the halfway mark of the period, Owen Lugowski fired a shot from the point toward the net. Nicolas was in front for the tip-in, and he, once again, found the back of the net.
Still in the second, Ryan Botterill received the puck in the slot, and the league’s leading goal-scorer faked a shot before making a pass to the doorstep for Austin Peters to tap in. This tied the game 2-2 going into the final frame.
In the third, there was a plethora of scoring chances but only one made it across the red line. With 12 minutes left in regulation, Botterill received a pass in the slot but this time, he kept it for himself, going top shelf for his 41st goal of the season.
The Terriers killed two penalties in the final seven minutes of play, which helped them seal the deal and win the season series with Winkler 5-1.
Forward Mike Stubbs says this was a great tune-up for the postseason.
“We went on the penalty-kill a little early. It’s good down the stretch to test out our special teams leading up to the playoffs,” Stubbs explains. “It’s going to happen from game to game, you’re going to go down sometimes. We just battled back and found a way.”
Stubbs notes if they keep playing the way they have been on this ten-game winning streak, they’ll be ready for the playoffs. The Terriers have just four more regular season games to go, with the next one taking place on Friday at Stride Place against the Dauphin Kings. Stick around after the game as the Terriers will hand out their end of season awards on the ice.