Stretch win streak to five
Terriers down Natives
Portage's Turner Santin is all smiles following a third period dust-up with Neepawa's Jesse Gibbons during Sunday's 4-2 win over the Natives at Stride Place in Portage. (Brian Oliver/The Graphic)
Make that five and counting for the Dogs.
Jeremey Leipsic led the way with a pair of goals while linemates Chase Brakel and James McIsaac each added a pair of helpers in a game where nine different Terriers found the score sheet as Portage downed the visiting Neepawa Natives 4-2 Sunday night at Stride Place in Portage la Prairie to push the team's win streak to a season-high five straight games.
“I think we've improved our team,” says Blake Spiller, head coach/GM of the Portage Terriers. “Our game is starting to get a little bit better, a little bit quicker and hopefully we're going to gradually get better defensively.”
After falling behind early in the first, recently acquired Rylee Zimmer scored his fifth of the year just past the 10 minute mark of the frame and Leipsic found the back of the net just 32 seconds after to put Portage in front.
The two teams traded goals in the final seconds of the first - Ashton Anderson knotted the game at two apiece with nine seconds left on the clock but rookie Jacob Brown answered back at the 19:59 mark to restore the Terriers' lead heading into intermission.
It was all Terriers in the middle stanza and you just had to look at the shot clock as an indication - as the Terriers out-shot Neepawa 10-2 in the period - but were unable to solve Natives' netminder Evan Robert, who was instrumental in holding the deficit to one heading into the third.
“Tonight I thought after the first we dug in and got going here. I thought we out played them pretty good in the second and third,” adds Spiller. “We still obviously make the odd mistake that makes it hard on our goaltending but for the most part, (play) is starting to tighten up.”
Leipsic's second of the night provided Portage with some breathing room mid way through the third, the reigning MJHL leading scorer picked up a nifty feed from McIsaac near the goal line before stepping around an outstretched Robert and tucking the puck into the open net.
Brock Aiken was steady between the pipes for the Terriers, turning aside 17 shots to pick up the victory, while Roberts was far busier as he made 33 saves in the losing effort.
The Terriers are back in action Tuesday night when they travel to Selkirk to take on the Steelers. Puck drop set for 7:30 p.m.