Flyers hand Dogs fourth straight defeat
Turmoil in Terrier town
Terriers’ goalie Zach Bennett got hammered by Oil Capitals’ forward Tyler Kirkup late in the second period of Saturday’s 8-2 loss to Virden and did not return. (Aaron Wilgosh/The Graphic)
The month of October has not been friendly to the Terriers.
After exploding out of the gates with four straight victories to end September, that Terrier team is no where to be found this month, as four straight losses – in which Portage has been outscored 20-8 over that span – has the Terriers’ once flawless record back at the .500 mark at 4-4-0.
Their most recent defeat came at the hands of the Winkler Flyers on the road Sunday, a 5-3 loss that saw the Flyers break a 3-3 tie late in the third before adding an insurance marker to ice it.
Scott Mikoski, Joey Moffatt and Mackenzie Dwyer each found the back of the net for the Terriers but ultimately came up short, as the team’s once torrid scoring touch certainly hasn’t carried over into October.
Saturday against Virden
The game wasn’t the only thing the Terriers lost Saturday night.
They were crushed 8-2 by the Virden Oil Capitals, and to add insult to injury, lost goalie Zach Bennett who left the game late in the second period after Oil Capital Tyler Kirkup crashed into the rookie netminder while taking the puck hard to the net.
It was a fast first period that seemed like the ice was tilted in favour of the home club for the first 10 minutes but Virden was able to withstand the barrage. Things turned quickly in the Oil Caps’ favour when forward Graeme Hore scored from a sharp angle to give the visitors a 1-0 lead.
The goal must have shocked the Terriers because half-a-minute later the Caps lit the lamp again to make it 2-0. This time it was Jeran Knorr who buried a rebound in front. A late power play would prove beneficial for Portage, after some great puck movement by Jeremy Leipsic and Daniel McKitrick, Mackenzie Dwyer was left alone in the slot and buried his second of the year glove side to make it 2-1 after one.
Things looked very similar in the second as again Portage seemed to be the stronger team five-on-five, but penalties didn’t allow for much even strength play. There were 12 between the two teams with Virden gaining the man advantage four times. They were able to capitalize once with the extra man when Kirklan Lycar beat Bennett with a shot blocker side to increase the lead to two. Frustration seemed to be getting to the Dogs as Scott Mickoski was baited into dropping the gloves all by himself, picking up an unsportsmanlike penalty in the process. A scary moment led to a Portage power play late in the second when Kirkup collided with Bennett, forcing Brock Aiken to enter in relief.
It went from bad to worse for the Terriers in the third as Virden combined for five goals in 10 minutes to take an 8-1 lead and never looked back. Ty Barnstable scored a power play goal shortly after to give Portage fans something to cheer about in an abysmal third to close out the scoring. Aiken finished with 19 saves and five goals against in 22 minutes of play, Bennett had 11.
The Dogs will look to put an end to their losing ways Friday night with a home date against Dauphin, puck drop set for 7:30 p.m. at Stride Place.