A rollercoaster ride of a start to the 2017-18 season.
The Portage Islanders are 1-1 after their first weekend of action in the South Eastern Manitoba Hockey League after an 8-0 thumping from the Mercs in Warren Friday and a big 5-2 win over the Winkler Royals Sunday afternoon in Portage.
“We weren't very good against Warren at all," says Islanders’ general manager/player, Jeremy Brooks. "We didn't have it. We lost every battle and didn't play anywhere to what we can, or should have played. We were a lot better against the Royals (Sunday) and I think we can get even better.”
It took over 80 minutes of game time for the Islanders to register their first goal of the new campaign. Local Zack Waldvogel was the goal scorer to tie the game at one in the second period versus Winkler Sunday. Portage exploded for four more goals in the third to run away with their first victory on home ice. Jordyn Boyd and Tanner Waldvogel each found the back of the net and Dan Leslie notched a pair as well. Isles goalie Kyle Czop made 13 saves for the win while Mitch Wiebe was hung out to dry Friday night against the Mercs.
“Our effort level was a lot higher to start (Sunday),” admits Brooks. “We were hitting our passes, playing as a team, breaking out properly, keeping it simple and getting shots toward the net. From here on out we want to get away from Friday's game and show we can compete with the league's best.”
The Islanders have another game right away as they’re in Carman Tuesday night to face the Beavers. Puck drop is set for 8 p.m.