The Portage Terriers remain undefeated on home ice after taking down the Winnipeg Blue tonight. The Dogs downed the Blues 6-3, making them winners of six consecutive contests.
The Terriers' offence got rolling early. Matt Wisener picked the puck up in the neutral zone with speed and brought it in along the boards. He cut toward the net, went right in front of the Blues' goaltender, and slid the puck past him before he could get across the crease. This made it 1-0 just over a minute into the game.
20 seconds later, Wisener had the puck down low in the offensive zone and found Austin Peters near the slot. He fired a one-timer past Winnipeg's goalie Brock Moroz and extended the lead to two.
Swan - Wisener - Peters 🚨 The @PortageTerriers are off to a 9-1 start 👀 pic.twitter.com/QZ9upUDOQV— #theMJ (@mjhlhockey) October 9, 2022
In the back half of the frame, Daniel Siso was waiting for a pass in the neutral zone with a defender beside him. When the puck came his way, he chipped it over the defenceman's stick and created a partial breakaway. With a man on his back, Siso was still able to find the back of the net and increase the lead to 3-0.
While it initially seemed like this game could get out of hand, Winnipeg battled back. With less than three minutes to go in the first, Garett Zasitko threw the puck toward the net, and Michael Tanchak was able to get his stick on it and beat Terrier goalie Jayden Catellier.
The Blues weren't done there, as they had a 2-on-0 opportunity due to the Terriers making a line change. Ty McNaughton passed the puck over to Brycen Gair, who made no mistake about it. This brought the score to 3-2 after 20 minutes.
Catellier stopped the best scoring chance of the second period as Zasitko went to his backhand on a short-handed breakaway but was denied by the netminder. The Terriers held onto the one-goal lead into the final frame.
In the opening minute of the third, it was Wisener once again who was able to use his speed to get past the defence, and this time, he went low on the blocker side to pick up his second goal of the game.
Winnipeg wouldn't go away, however, as Jack Kaiser was able to pick up the puck behind the Terriers' net, skate out in front and get off a point-blank shot that brought it back to a one-goal game.
With five minutes to go in the game, Jamie Valentino went end to end on the power-play and fired a shot from the slot between two defenders that beat Moroz on the blocker side.
Two minutes later, Brandon Funk's shot was stopped but the puck went high in the air after the save. Hayden Chaloner showed off his hand-eye coordination as he batted it down into the back of the net to bring the score to 6-3 and seal the deal.
Matt Wisener picked up three points in the contest. He describes the keys to the victory.
"I think it was our D-zone and also our back-checking. They're a team that likes to play off the rush, and I thought we did a pretty good job of stopping that," Wisener continues. "There were some times where we let off the gas a bit, and they took advantage but overall, a solid game in the D-zone is what I think did it for us."
The Dogs have now scored 31 goals in their last five games and lead the MJHL with 49 total goals this season (second place is the OCN Blizzard with 35 goals).
"Everyone's chipping in, and that's always good. You can't have scoring from just one line. So, it's good that it's getting passed around. Last game, we had eight different goal scorers," Wisener explains. "We're playing as a team, and we're getting some help from the backend as well, so that's always good."
Portage will have nearly a week off before their next outing as they look to extend their win streak to seven on Friday, October 14 in Swan Valley against the Stampeders.