Terriers thump Kings to clinch playoff spot
Turner Ripplinger scored a hat trick en route to Portage's 9-2 victory over Dauphin Tuesday night. (File photo)
The Terriers are the third MJHL team to punch their ticket to the postseason.
The duo of Ty Enns (1-4—5) and Turner Ripplinger (3-0-3) combined for eight points on a night where 11 different Terriers found the scoresheet as Portage dismantled Dauphin 9-2 on the road Tuesday night, and in the process, have officially clinched a playoff spot.
The Dogs join the mighty Steinbach Pistons (39-8-1-1) and the Virden Oil Caps (33-16-2-0), each of whom had previously clinched a playoff berth.
Ripplinger put the Dogs ahead just 94 seconds after puck drop and increased that lead to two minutes later. Joey Moffatt scored his first of two on the night at the 6:52 mark of the opening frame to chase Kings netminder Brennan Kitchen from the goal.
Grady Hobbs got the Kings on the board with a shorthanded marker soon after but Dauphin failed to steal the momentum away from the Terriers.
Enns and Leipsic each scored in the middle frame before the Dogs exploded for four more in the third. Ian Briscoe cut the Terrier lead to 5-2 before Cody Thompson ignited a string of four unanswered goals in just less than six minutes. Moffatt followed up Thompson’s tally with an unassisted marker, his 17th of the year, before Ripplinger and Troy Williams struck for a pair.
Lasse Petersen made 30 saves to pick up his 15th victory on the year while Kitchen, who conceded three goals on 12 shots, got dinged with the loss.
The Terriers are back in action Wednesday night on the road in Neepawa before returning home Friday for a rematch with the Kings.