The Portage Terriers are inching closer to clinching top spot in the regular season following a 6-2 victory in Winnipeg against the Freeze Sunday night.
It was a battle of first versus last - a whopping 71 points separated the two teams in the standing before the game began. That gap is now 73.
The two teams played a scoreless opening frame but it didn't take long for the Terriers to strike in the second. Hayden Lacquette scored his 15th of the season 45 seconds in and the team never looked back from that point. They built up a 3-1 lead by the halfway point of the match and it was 4-2 after 40 minutes.
Terrier assistant coach Paul Harland said these are tough games to play.
"I thought we had a good first period but just didn't score. The Freeze played a good game and they were in it. They played hard and their goalie was solid. But we had some pretty good energy, the guys skated well and when we finally got a few past him we were able to pull away"
It was a special night for Ryan Botterill who scored his 39th and 40th of the year. The Terriers leading scorer (63 points) is now tied for the most goals in the league for the season with Selkirk's Lucas Brennan. No Terrier has hit the 40 goal mark for a season since Brad Bowles scored 45 in 2016.
The Terriers outshot the Freeze 39-21 and Bailey Monteith got the win in goal.
With only 5 more games in the regular season, the Terriers have a magic number of 4. This means any number of Terrier wins added together with Steinbach losses that equal four would give the Dogs first overall. The Pistons are currently eight points back of the Terriers but have also played two fewer games.
Next up is a special Central Plains Cancer Services fundraiser game on Wednesday at Stride Place against the WInkler Flyers. The Flyers are third overall in the league so far this season,