The Portage Terriers are looking to make it five consecutive wins tonight in Neepawa.
This will be the Dogs' first meeting with the Titans so far this season but defenceman Brandon McCartney says he expects it to be a competitive contest. He outlines how they stay level-headed with the early success.
"It's all about the process for us. We like what we're doing right now and winning is fun but we have a bigger end goal. I think every practice and every game helps us get toward that end goal of what we're trying to achieve here," McCartney explains. "Every day we're just trying to get better and make the most of every practice or video session. Trying to find out how we can win every night and keep that confidence rolling for the whole year."
The Terriers went 2-1 against the Titans last season and outscored them 10-5 in those three contests. McCartney describes the challenges Neepawa presents.
"They're a big and physical team. We're heading into their barn, so it's not going to be easy. We can expect them to be fast," McCartney continues. "With us hosting this year, every team wants to beat us on any given night. Nobody is going to take us lightly, and we have to be ready for them. Past years aren't going to affect how we're going to prepare for them. We can't take them lightly."
Portage will have the edge on special teams in this contest as they are converting on 23.5 percent of their power-play opportunities and have a top-three penalty-killing unit in the MJHL. Neepawa, on the other hand, has a bottom three power-play (13.5 percent) and bottom two penalty kill (71.1 percent).
McCartney was recognized by the MJHL as one of the Three Stars of the Week last week and now has eight points in the last three games. He attributes a majority of the success to the team as a whole.
"It's nice to see, and it feels good but I don't think that happens without all of my teammates' help. I think a lot of credit goes toward them. They're always pumping me up, and when I might not be having the greatest game or shift they're helping me up and keeping me strong," says McCartney. "I think it's all about the team. Obviously, it's nice to get recognized individually but in terms of individual awards, it wouldn't be noticed if it wasn't for the help of the rest of the guys on the team."
The defenceman adds their main focus is to continue being consistent and to play hard for a full 60 minutes. The Titans and Terriers will face off tonight at 7:30 in Neepawa. You can listen to the game live on CFRY.
Tale of the Tape
Terriers: Hayden Lacquette (2G, 7A, 9Pts)
Titans: Parker Korman (4G, 1A, 5Pts)
Terriers: Jayden Catellier (3.27GAA, 0.889SV%)
Titans: Mason Lobreau (2.88GAA, 0.916SV%)