Team has collected points in four straight
Terriers double up Stamps
Jacob Brown celebrates following his third period tally that provided the Dogs with some necessary insurance during Portage's 4-2 win over Swan Valley Sunday night at Stride Place in Portage la Prairie. (Brian Oliver/The Graphic)
It's a dogfight atop the league standings and the Terriers picked up an important four points over the weekend.
After thumping the hapless Wolverines Friday night in Waywayseecappo, the Portage Terriers capped off the weekend with a 4-2 victory over the visiting Swan Valley Stampeders Sunday night at Stride Place in Portage la Prairie.
Rylee Zimmer opened the scoring just past the halfway mark of the first with his eighth goal of the season. Scott Mickoski and Ty Barnstable struck within minutes of each other in the early stages of the second to stake the hosts to a 3-0 lead.
“Swan is a dangerous team. They work hard and they're structured,” says Blake Spiller, head coach/GM of the Portage Terriers. “We got a few bounces early here that gave us the lead but then they definitely battled back.”
Keaton Jameson got the visitors on the board and Connor Navrot converted on the man advantage to erase the daunting deficit and bring the Stamps within one heading into the final frame. The current changed when puck dropped on the third and the Terriers were rewarded for their sustained pressure when Jacob Brown struck for his fourth of the season. The rookie forward picked up a loose pick in front of the Swan Valley goal and out-waited netminder Brett Evans before firing the puck into the half-vacant goal.
“I thought we buckled down in the third period and did a good job of eliminating their glorious chances,” Spiller adds. “I thought the third was our best period tonight. It's definitely good to get the four points to stay with the pack. (Standings are) tight and it's been that way all year and hopefully our third period will help us carry over into Wednesday in Steinbach.”
Recently-acquired goalie Lasse Peterson picked up his second victory of the weekend – taking the reins as the team's No. 1 netminder from injured Brock Aiken - thanks to a 26 save performance while Evans turned aside 23 Terrier shots in the losing effort.
“I've seen him be better and saying that, I thought he was real good early here,” Spiller says of the newly acquired netminder. “Obviously it's a different league and he's got to adjust to everything as well as our group. He just needs to settle in here and I think he'll be a big part for us.”
Aiken, who hasn't played since the team's overtime loss last weekend to Winnipeg, will be re-evaluated later this week.
The win pulls the Dogs (12-6-2) into a tie for fourth with the Oil Caps (13-6-0) in a crowded top-half of Manitoba Junior Hockey League standings. Just seven points separate first place Steinbach (16-3-0) from sixth place Selkirk (12-6-1).
The Terriers will be put to the test Wednesday when they travel to Steinbach to take on the league-leading Pistons. Puck drop set for 7:30 p.m. at the T.G. Smith Centre.