Terriers sink Blues in double OT thriller
Back on track
Terriers celebrate following Mackenzie Dwyer's game tying goal in the third period of Game 3 Tuesday night against Winnipeg. (Brian Oliver/The Graphic)
Overtime was once again needed to decide a winner.
Ty Barnstable was the hero in Game 3 as he put the finishing touches on a 4-3 Terrier comeback victory over the Winnipeg Blues Tuesday night at Stride Place in Portage la Prairie to give the Dogs life, and now trail the best-of-seven quarter final series 2-1.
"We have experience being in these situations and I thought we finally came and seemed to play for keeps," says Blake Spiller, head coach/GM of the Portage Terriers. "I thought we were composed here tonight. Obviously we got down a bit early but we just kept battling back."
Levi Cudmore scored a pair of first period goals to stake the visitors to an early 2-0 lead and all but silence the home crowd. Brock Aiken got the start in net and was strong the rest of the way to keep the Terriers within striking distance.
Ryan Sokoloski cut the Blues' lead in half with his first of the postseason with a power play marker at the 6:28 point of the second period. The game was momentarily tied when Terrier captain Chase Brakel stripped the puck from a Blues defender while shorthanded and beat Blues' netminder Jeremy Link with a nifty backhand deke.
Dale Goodbrandson answered right back with a shorty of his own soon after, beating a pair of Terrier defenders to a cleared puck to get in alone before sliding it five-hole on Aiken.
Turner Ripplinger took a hit from behind into the boards late in the second giving the Terriers a five minute power play to take into the third.
After a handful of near misses that bounced all around but never past Link and into the Winnipeg goal, a Mackenzie Dwyer point shot hit a body in front and found it's way into the Blues net, squaring the game at three apiece.
After a scoreless 10 minute extra frame the ice was cleaned and the two teams converged for the second double overtime in three games.
Terrier forward Duncan Peirce had a partial breakaway turned away but followed the puck into the corner. James McIsaac was following up the play and jumped on the puck and fired it through the crease to a streaking Barnstable who got position on the Blues defender and managed to make solid contact with the puck and shot it into the Winnipeg goal.
"I thought we got good efforts out of a lot of guys," adds Spiller. "Our veteran guys who have been (in similar situations) just seemed to keep playing and we didn't show any panic."
Game 3 starter Brock Aiken picked up the victory in net with a 20 save performance after Lasse Petersen started the opening two games. Jeremy Link was solid between the pipes for Winnipeg, turning aside 46 Terrier shots in the losing effort.
The Terriers finished 2/7 on the man advantage while the Blues converted once on five chances.
Game 4 is Thursday night in Winnipeg, puck drop set for 7 p.m. at the BellMTS Iceplex.