Sports Local Hockey

Terriers win a pair to end losing skid

Back on track

By Brian Oliver, The Graphic

Home cooking seems to have the Dogs back on course.

The Terriers downed the Dauphin Kings 4-1 Friday night before dropping the visiting Swan Valley Stampeders 5-2 Saturday to win a pair of games in as many night and promptly put an end to the team's four game losing skid.

The recently reunited line of Jeremey Leipsic (1G 2A), Chase Brakel (1G 2A) and James McIsaac (1G 2A) combined for nine points and rookie Joey Moffatt scored his fifth of the year en route to victory over the Stamps Saturday night at Stride Place.

“We got goals at big times and big saves, that's usually the key to winning,” said Blake Spiller, head coach/GM of the Terriers, following Saturday night's win. “I thought their team was real good here,” Spiller said of Swan Valley. “They were structured and really made it tough on us. Our first five or six shifts of the game were real good but we seemed to go to sleep for the rest of the period.”

Leipsic broke a 2-2 tie early in the second and rookie forward Jacob Brown scored his second of the year early in the third when he went hard to net with his stick on the ice to one time home a Daniel McKitrick centering pass.

The Terriers put the game away later in the period when McIsaac picked up a loose puck at the Stamps blueline and found himself on a partial break. The forward faked going forehand and beat Stamps' netminder Brett Evans with a nifty backhand move to put the Terriers up three.

Zachary Bennett turned aside 34 of the 36 shots that came his way to pick up his second win of the year while Evans made 31 saves in the losing effort.

“I thought Bennett was real solid for us in net,” added Spiller, who had high praise for how both his goaltenders performed over the weekend. Broke Aiken, although less busy, was equally solid Friday, turning aside 20 shots in the 4-1 win. “Both (Aiken and Bennett) got hung out to dry a couple times in both games so they were definitely real solid and the reason we got four points this weekend.

“That's what they're here to do,” continued Spiller. “(They're here to) stop pucks and unfortunately at times we make it a little too tough for them, but they stood tall this weekend.”

Rookie contribution

Joey Moffatt's fifth goal of the season ties the 15-year-old with the league lead among rookie skaters. The Portage la Prairie native doesn't turn 16 until later this month, making him one of the youngest players currently playing in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League.

“When you take a young guy you've got to have some time with them. Joey is a smart, intelligent player that has been a scorer all of his life,” said Spiller of Moffatt, who spent the last couple of seasons scoring in bunches in the Central Plains organization. “The pace of his game is starting to pick up and that's going to be the key for him. He's a strong kid and he's fitting in well with (Ty) Barnstable and (Turner) Ripplinger. Those guys, in my opinion, have been our most solid line. If you look through the lineup, shift in and shift out, they've been consistent for us and that's what we need out of the rest of our guys.”

The Terriers improve to 6-4-0 on the year and are in for a tough test Wednesday when they travel to Steinbach to take on the first place Pistons (8-2-0). Puck drop set for 7:30 p.m.

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