VIDEO: Terriers avoid the Bronco broom
The Portage Terriers will live to play another day.
Tanner Waldvogel scored the winner with 4:19 left in the third period as the Terriers edged the Humboldt Broncos to win Game 4 of the final ANAVET Cup best-of-seven series by a 3-2 score. The Broncos still lead the series 3-1.
Shaq Merasty was dominant on the play, shaking off a Humboldt defender behind the net to put the puck of goaltender Colin Dzijacky.
"I was just standing in front and Shaq walked around and he almost scored," said Waldvogel. "I was just fortunate to turn around and the puck was right there. I just jammed at it and it hopped over him (Dzijacky) and in.
"It feels real good, especially with our season kind of on the line. It's for a championship, so you look at it that way.
"We've proven we can beat them and it isn't over yet."
Mike Gemmill and Justin Slobozian had the Terriers up 2-0 at the 6:38 mark of the first period as Portage was finally able to get something to show for its quickness out of the gate in the series.
But Ryan Marshall potted his third goal in two games to get Humboldt on the board late in the second and Adam Zbitniff scored the equalizer 4:22 into the third. But Portage withstood four third-period penalties, including a double-minor assessed to Cody Kostecki for high-sticking with 2:58 to play.
Adam Iwan came up big with 31 saves in the Terrier net while Dzijacky stopped 19 between the Bronco pipes.
The Terriers will look to send the series back to Humboldt with another win in Game 5 at the PCU Centre Thursday night. Puck drop is set for 7:30 p.m.
The Terriers penalty kill loomed large, as it killed off eight of nine chances in all, allowing only Marshall's tally. Head coach Blake Spiller praised his penalty killers, including Iwan.
"We rolled three guys and tried to keep it quick," said Spiller. "We did a lot better job, and we were real good on the back end, solid tonight.
"We did what we needed to do, get bodies and sticks in the shooting lanes."
The Terriers also killed off a five-on-three lasting 1:16 early in the third. Even though Humboldt scored shortly afterward, Waldvogel felt the kill boosted the home side.
"Whenever you have a penalty kill that's going as good as ours, everyone feeds off it. You get that big kill and get even strength, and most of the time, we'd take the play to them right after that," said Waldvogel.
For more, please see Thursday's edition of the Portage Daily Graphic.