The Portage Terriers are back to their winning ways. The Dogs downed the Swan Valley Stampeders 4-1 tonight, just two days after losing their second game of the season.
While the Terriers ended up with the victory, Swan Valley was the first to get a big scoring chance in this one. Halfway through the first, a shot in tight squeaked past Portage goalie Jayden Catellier and nearly crossed the red line, however, Bryden Kiesman and Sequoia Swan both used their sticks to keep the puck out in the crease until the net was knocked off its moorings.
The Stampeders didn't stop there as Carman's own Tyler Park fired a point shot toward the net that was tipped on its way by Griffin Ayotte and snuck between the pads on Catellier. Swan Valley held the 1-0 into the first intermission.
Early in the second period, Noah Wagner had the puck in the offensive zone, near the blue line, and chipped it ahead to Brenden Holba. He found himself in all alone, and made a move in tight, before trying to go low on the short side but he was denied by the pad of Kobe Grant.
Midway through the second, as the Terriers were on the power-play Kiesman picked up the puck along the boards and skated to the point before cutting down the slot. He ripped a shot high blocker side that zipped past Grant and tied the game.
In the final minute of the second, Justin Keck received the puck in a 2-on-1 rush and went to his backhand to try and take back the lead but Catellier made an impressive blocker save on the Stampeders leading-scorer to keep the score knotted after 40 minutes.
The Dogs got the offence rolling in the third. Just two minutes in, Hayden Lacquette brought the puck into the offensive zone and stopped near the faceoff dot, as he was met by a few Stampeders. He turned around and made a sensational no-look backhand pass to Austin Peters through the Swan Valley defence, and Peters made no mistake. Portage took their first lead of the game and didn't let go.
Later in the frame, Brandon McCartney had the puck at the centre of the blue line with the man advantage. He took a shot that was stopped but the rebound was left on the doorstep for Kaden Kohle, who tapped it into the wide-open cage. 3-1 Terriers.
With just under three minutes to go, just as a Terrier power-play expired, a rebound attempt went right to Kiesman near the faceoff dot, and he fired it on net to pick up his fifth goal in four games with the Terriers. The Dogs held on, bringing the final score to 4-1 Portage.
Kiesman says this was a great way to bounce back after Wednesday night's loss to the Niverville Nighthawks.
"Everyone bought in tonight. The other night, we weren't fully into it. It was just one of those games where we didn't have everyone's effort out there," Kiesman explains. "Tonight, everyone bought it and gave their full effort. That's what gave us the W."
The newly acquired Terrier says it takes the entire squad to pull off a victory like that.
"Everyone's working. It's a 30-man job out there. Four lines are rolling, and guys are giving it their all just to pull off that win and boost our confidence even more rolling into next week."
The Terriers will have the weekend off but will return to Stride Place for their next outing, which is set for Friday, October 28, as they take on the Waywayseecappo Wolverines.