The Portage Terriers overcame some penalty trouble and a strong first outing from goaltender Reece Jones to dominate the Waywayseecappo Wolverines in MJHL action tonight at Stride Place. The Terriers scored four second period goals en route to the 6-2 victory.
Cody Thompson opened the scoring on a seeing-eye wrist shot from the point that just sailed over Jones' left shoulder. There were a lot of chances for the Dogs as they were able to pounce on the Wolverines through the neutral zone and they received odd-man rushes aplenty. Jones kept Wawayseecappo in the game, however, making numerous stops to keep his team down one heading into the second when Joey Moffat would take over.
After taking an interference penalty in the final minute of the first, Moffat jumped out of the penalty box less than two minutes into the second, picked the defender's pocket in the offensive zone and put it past Jones for his tenth goal of the season. Just 12 seconds later, Turner Santin would find Moffat in the slot and he buried the shot just under the crossbar, giving the Terriers a 3-0 lead. Moffat spoke about his performance tonight.
"It all feels pretty good," Moffat says. "They're a team lower in the standings so you just gotta go out there and play like you always would and I think that we played well tonight."
Waywayseecappo would get on the board just over a minute later as Drew Anderson banged in a rebound past Terrier's netminder Lasse Peterson. The Dogs would restore their three goal lead however as Braden Bellany chipped the puck over a sprawling Jones for his fifth of the season.
Turner Ripplinger would push Portage's lead to 5-1 when he shovelled a rebound past Jones with less than five minutes left in the second.
After starting the third period on the penalty kill, the Terriers managed to capitalize on a defensive breakdown by the Wolverines. Captain Chase Brakel and Ryan Sokoloski found themselves with a shorthanded two on one. Brakel would make no mistake and finished the play with a wrist shot that beat Jones easily. For Brakel, who recently declared he would play for Cornell University next year, it was his 16th of the season. The Wolverines would get one more as Preston Seymour beat Peterson on a scramble for a loose puck, making the final score 6-2.
Terrier forward Turner Santin had this to say about his line's strong play throughout the game.
"I thought we had a good game. I thought we connected well out there and hopefully, we can keep that going tomorrow."
The Terriers struggled to stay out of the penalty box for much of the game, taking eight penalties to the Wolverines three. They showed why they have the league's best penalty kill by killing off all eight and even adding an exclamation by netting a short-handed goal. Moffat, Santin and Brakel each had two-point nights for Portage.
The game was Portage's final home tilt before the Christmas break. They head into Winnipeg to face the Blues on Thursday, Dec 21st to close out 2017.
For the full box score click here.