Story Courtesy Portageonline.com.
The Portage Terriers are still in search of their first win of the new year. The Dogs fell 2-1 Friday night against the Neepawa Titans in a hard-fought affair.
The first period began with a lot of neutral zone play and both teams making a good defensive effort. With six minutes to go in the frame, Matt Wisener created the first big scoring chance as he out-skated the Titans defenders and found himself on a breakaway. He fired the shot low but was stopped by the pad of Neepawa goalie Gavin Renwick.
With two minutes to go in the period, the Titans tried to clear the puck but couldn’t get it out of their own zone. Brandon Funk had just come off the bench and raced to the loose puck in the slot, which he picked up and sniped into the back of the net. After a big save from Jayden Catellier in the dying seconds of the frame, Portage kept this 1-0 lead into the second period.
Near the midway mark of the game, Neepawa had a power-play opportunity. The Titans cycled the puck around the offensive zone before it found Dallon Wilton by the faceoff dot, and he made no mistake about it, tying the game at 1-1.
Just a few minutes later, Neepawa made multiple quick passes in a 3-on-1 rush and took a quick shot, but Catellier stood tall to keep the game tied.
Neepawa was on the power-play once again at the end of the period, and Wilton was fed the puck in the exact same spot and did the exact same thing. He beat Catellier, but this time his shot went high on the blocker side. 2-1 Titans.
The Terriers put some pressure on late in the game as Brenden Holba had a rebound chance in tight. It was stopped, but his second attempt beat the goalie, however, it rolled through the crease and ultimately stayed out of the net. The Dogs were unable to capitalize with the empty net, which made the final score 2-1 Titans.
Forward Nate Hinds describes the positives they can take away from this outing.
“I think when we were playing our game, you could see that they couldn’t do very much,” says Hinds. “When our feet weren’t moving, it opened up more for them.”
Hinds outlines what they’ll want to do differently in tomorrow’s rematch.
“Bring more consistency, be more physical, and be louder on the bench,” Hinds explains.
The Terriers will look to get back in the win column Saturday night as they take on the Titans again but this time in Neepawa. Puck drop is set for 7:30.
CLICK HERE for the complete box score.
Congratulations to Matt Wisener on being named the MBLL December player of the month.