The Portage Terriers grabbed their seventh win in a row Wednesday night beating the Winkler Flyers 4-3. With the win, the Dogs move into a tie with Steinbach for first place, plus they have three games in hand. The Pistons lost to the Winnipeg Blues 4-1.
It was a tight-checking back-and-forth first period. Midway through the frame Terrier forward Mike Stubbs tipped a Kian Calder point shot over the shoulder of Malachi Klassen to open the scoring. Portage hung on to the 1-0 lead into the intermission.
The second period started with a bang. Matt Wisener finished off a two-on-one pass from Brock MacDonald to go up 2-0. The Flyers responded quickly. With a delayed penalty coming to the Terriers, Dalton Andrew beat Bailey Monteith low to draw to within one.
The second half of the frame was filled with penalties and turned into a special teams battle. Ryan Botterill fired home a point shot immediately after a face-off win on a 5-on-3 advantage. With two minutes left Kohle scored his 14th of the season to make it 4-1 Portage. Monteith made a key save on a Flyer breakaway moments later to keep it a three-goal lead after 40 minutes.
The third started slowly with both teams getting power plays but not scoring. Parker Scherr was called for boarding and Kian Calder shortly after for high sticking midway through the period. Trent Sambrook scored quickly on the 5 on 3 and then Brody Beauchemin seconds later to draw within one. Portage was able to stop the bleeding and played tight-checking, defensive hockey to shut the game down.
Portage finished the night 1/7 on the power play and outshot Winkler 33-27. Winkler was 2 for 7 against the league's best penalty kill, the Terriers are number one when it comes to being shorthanded with an 84.9% success rate.
The Dogs now get ready for a weekend road trip to Swan Valley on Friday and OCN Saturday.