Terriers sink Blues
Portage Terriers' forward Ty Enns, right, and Mackenzie Dwyer, left, celebrate following Enns' empty netter. (Brian Oliver/The Graphic)
Jeremey Leipsic and Chase Brakel each had three point nights and Kurtis Chapman was steady between the pipes as the Portage Terriers downed the visiting Winnipeg Blues 4-1 last night at Stride Place in Portage la Prairie to pick up a much needed two points and maintain pace in a heated Manitoba Junior Hockey League playoff race.
Leading 1-0 after forty minutes of play, James McIssac added to the Terriers lead early in the third period, receiving a pass from Brakel in the slot before firing the puck low underneath the blocker hand of Blues goaltender Jacob Gnidziejko to put Portage up by two.
McIssac beat Gnidziejko again minutes later, this time picking up the puck alone in the slot off of a broken play before going wide on the Blues netminder and sliding the puck into the open net.
Matt LeBlanc spoiled Chapman's bid at a shutout, deflecting home a Brenden Bartlett point shot on a man advantage to cut the home team's lead to two.
Ty Enns got in behind the Blues' defensive corps with the net empty to score his 26th goal of the year and put the game out of reach.
Chapman turned aside 24 Winnipeg shots to pick up his eighth win of the year while Gnidziejko made 21 saves in the losing effort.
With the victory, Portage can finish no lower than fifth place in league standings, and with any luck this weekend, the Terriers can challenge the Steelers for third overall.
The two teams square off in home and home series beginning Friday night in Selkirk before concluding the following night in Portage.
Puck drop set for Saturday night at 7:30 at Stride Place in Portage la Prairie.