The Portage Terriers have the opportunity to take a stranglehold on their first-round series tonight.
The Dogs return to Stride Place for Game 3 with a 2-0 series lead over the Niverville Nighthawks. With a win tonight, Portage would put Niverville on the brink of elimination.
Mike Stubbs and Hayden Lacquette have played big roles early in this series, as they are tied for the league lead in playoff goals with three each. Lacquette notched a hat-trick in the opener, while Stubbs scored two in Game 1, including the double-overtime winner and kicked off the scoring for Portage in Game 2.
Lacquette led all defencemen across the league in both goals and points this season. He and Stubbs were two of the four Terriers to average over a point-per-game this year.
One area the Nighthawks have excelled in this series is the power-play. Niverville has three power-play goals in the last two games and is converting on 42.9 per cent of their man-advantage opportunities this series, the highest of any team in the postseason.
Terrier forward Brenden Holba was able to pick up a short-handed marker in Game 2 but the Dogs will look to lock in on the penalty-kill in Game 3.
Daniel Siso 🚨— #theMJ (@mjhlhockey) March 26, 2023
A clean exit from the @PortageTerriers sends Ryan Botterill up the ice with Siso who ripped home his first of the playoffs to help Portage take a 2-0 series lead. pic.twitter.com/zPqChyIDr0
On the other side of the special teams spectrum, Portage has to be quite happy with their output. The Terriers are 3/9 on the power-play in the first two games and have only 35 penalty minutes to the Nighthawks' 62, despite much of the discrepancy being due to major penalties and game misconducts.
Former Portage Terrier Chris Fines has had a solid series in net for Niverville, even though his statistics may not be the prettiest. Fines kept the Nighthawks in Game 1, despite being out-shot by 20. He will be looking for a miraculous performance again tonight against his former team.
Puck drop for Game 3 is set for 7:30 tonight at Stride Place.
Tale of the Tape (regular season stats)
Terriers: Ryan Botterill (45G, 28A, 73Pts)
Nighthawks: Josh Paulhus (31G, 30A, 61Pts)
Terriers: Bailey Monteith (2.64GAA, 0.902SV%)
Nighthawks: Chris Fines (3.41GAA, 0.901SV%)