Blues rally late to edge Terriers
The Portage Terriers fell 3-2 in overtime to the Winnipeg Blues Sunday night at Stride Place in Portage. (Brian Oliver/The Graphic)
A hot goaltender was the difference maker.
Jeremy Link turned in a masterful 35 save performance to keep Winnipeg within striking distance before the Blues squared things late in the third and completed the comeback in the final minute of overtime to edge the Portage Terriers 3-2 in Manitoba Junior Hockey League action Sunday night at Stride Place in Portage la Prairie.
After a rather stagnant first period, the two teams traded goals early in the second as Dale Goodbrandson's eighth of the year staked the visitors to an early lead but Turner Ripplinger answered back soon after for the Terriers. Cody Thompson gave the Dogs' their first lead of the night with a power play marker late in the period, Jeremey Leipsic and James McIsaac picked up the helpers.
Dexter Kuczek knotted the game at two with just over five to play in the third before setting up Dylan Cassie for the game winner in the 3-on-3 extra frame. Kuzek broke in on a 1-on-1 before dropping the puck to Cassie to send him in alone where he made no mistake, firing the puck over Brock Aiken's glove hand to lead the Blues to victory.
Link turned aside 35 of 37 Terrier shots to pick up his eighth win of the year while a less busy Aiken made 17 saves in the defeat. Each team converted once on the man advantage, the Blues finished 1/6 on the night while the Terriers scored once on three opportunities.
The extra point gained in the overtime loss netted the Terriers three of a possible four over the weekend and will look to stretch the point streak to three straight to cap off a five-game home stand Wednesday when the Blizzard return to town. Portage hosted OCN for a pair of games last weekend to kick off the stretch.
The Terriers pull into a fourth place tie with Virden in league standings with 22 points apiece with Selkirk and Winnipeg not far behind. The Steelers sit fifth with 21 points and the Blues sixth with 19.