Sports Local Hockey

Terriers lead in Turnbull final

By Brian Oliver, The Graphic

The Terriers can win the Turnbull Cup Wednesday night at home.

The Terriers can win the Turnbull Cup Wednesday night at home.

The Portage Terriers are one win away from winning their third straight Turnbull Cup.

Mackenzie Dwyer and Ty Barnstable scored second period goals while Kurtis Chapman turned in another stellar performance in net as the the Portage Terriers downed the Blizzard 3-1 in OCN tonight in Game 5 of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League Turnbull Cup final.

“I thought we were good early which gave us confidence,” said Blake Spiller, head coach/GM of the Portage Terriers following his team's Game 5 road victory. “Scoring first and then playing with the lead was big for us.”

After a scoreless first, Ty Barnstable got the visiting Terriers on the board in the opening minute of the second as he received a pass from Jeremey Leipsic just in front of the Blizzard blueline before walking in and firing a shot that found a way through goaltender Brett Epp and into the OCN goal.

Minutes later while on the man advantage, Dwyer one-timed home a cross ice feed from captain Riley Thiessen to increase the Terrier lead to two.

The Terriers ran into some penalty trouble of their own late in the period that led to the lone Blizzard goal of the game. Anthony Keeper picked up the puck in the left faceoff circle before throwing it through a crowd of people and on to the Terrier goal. Justin Nachbaur found the loose puck during the mad scramble in front and somehow managed to slide it past Chapman and get the Blizzard on the board.

The Terriers came out strong in the final period and limited the OCN offence from producing many quality chances but when tested Chapman proved equal to the task every time. Veteran Terrier forward Ryan Hendrix added an empty net tally from just across centre to seal the Terrier victory and give Portage a chance to win the Turnbull Cup on home ice.

“Obviously Chapman gave us every opportunity to win,” added the head coach, “The last three games have been tight and OCN is a talented team, so we'll need to be at our best on Wednesday.”

Chapman picked up his seventh win of the postseason and third of the Turnbull Cup final with a 40 save performance while Epp turned aside 33 Terrier shots in the losing effort.

Both teams struck on the man advantage – the Terriers converted once on five tries while the Blizzard scored once in four opportunities.

Game 6 of the MJHL final is set for 7:30 p.m. Wednesday night at Stride Place in Portage.


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