The Portage Terriers stumbled in their first of two against Swan Valley last night, and will look to even things up tonight.
They fell 6-4 after allowing 3 unanswered goals in the second period. "We just got outworked in the second we really weren't getting any favourable bounces," says Terriers Assistant Coach Paul Harland after the tough loss to start the road trip.
The Stampeders opened a physical first period with gusto, scoring 11 seconds in. Things settled out and Terriers' forward Chase Brakel tied it at one in his return to the lineup shortly after. Mackenzie Dwyer would score on the powerplay a minute later to give the dogs the lead. Their defense wasn't on point in the period but they held out for a one goal lead heading into the second. Goaltender Brock Aiken left the game shortly after the Terriers took the lead, backup Kurtis Chapman played the remainder of the game. Portage had two powerplays in the period to the Stampeders three.
The bounces all seemed to be going Swan Valley's way in the second, leading to a flurry of goals to take over the lead. The Terriers' powerplay went 1-for-9 through 60 minutes, 3 of which were in the second. Harland says they're not looking to change too much for game two, they just have to keep up their effort and play their game to get a win.
A Terriers' comeback looked to be in the works in the third. Chase Brakel would get his second of the night 8 minutes into the period to cut the lead to one. Their continued pressure paid off 8 minutes later in the form of a Calvin Bliid goal, and like that, the game was tied at 4. Things changed quick though off a couple of bad bounces as Trevar Mann scored the game winner for the Stampeders with 2:39 remaining in the game. They would add one more to cancel the hope of a Terrier victory.
Game two is tonight at 7:30.
Points, points, points.
A bright side to the loss was the strong return of Terriers' forward Chase Brakel. He had 4 points (2G, 2A) along with line mate Jeremy Leipsic who finished with 4 assists. Leipsic leads the league with 50 points, 14 goals and 36 assists. Chase Brakel is in third with 40. Portage has three other players in the top 20, Ty Enns (14G, 15A), Ryan Sokoloski (11G, 18A), and James McIsaac (13G, 15A).