The Portage Terriers are back in the win column. The Dogs downed the Selkirk Steelers 2-1 in a very physical outing at Stride Place.
The first period saw a lot of end-to-end play, with the biggest scoring chance coming for Selkirk.
Terrier goaltender Jayden Catellier stretched out to make a save but the puck went wide, hit the end boards, and ended up on the other side of the net. As Catellier was sliding across, a Steeler went to tap the puck in, but he was denied by the side of the net and the skate of the Portage netminder.
Some stellar play from both goalies kept the game scoreless after 20 minutes.
Bryden Kiesman was the one to open the scoring in the second period. He received a pass from Austin Peters as he cut toward the net. Kiesman went to his backhand in tight and slid the puck past Hunter Tarves to make it 1-0 Portage.
Near the halfway point in the second, Ryan Botterill chipped the puck away from a Selkirk defender in the neutral zone to create a 2-on-1 opportunity. Botterill had Brock McDonald alongside him but decided to take the shot himself. Unfortunately for the Terriers, he ripped the puck off the crossbar.
A few minutes later, it was the Steelers with a high-quality scoring chance. Mathieu Moreira received the puck right in front, and his shot was tipped by Catellier but still found its way behind the goaltender. However, before the puck could cross the red line, Mike Stubbs rushed toward the crease and cleared the puck away in the nick of time.
The action-packed middle frame continued on Selkirk's third power-play of the evening. Ethan Brown ripped a point shot that hit a body on its way to the net. The puck bounced to the opposite side of the net, on the doorstep, and Carter Cormier was there to tie the game up.
The game was tied for exactly two minutes before the night's final goal was scored. Jordan Murray made a two-line pass to spring Daniel Siso and Bryden Kiesman on a 2-on-1. Siso quickly dished it over to Kiesman, who made a move before going to his backhand again for his second goal of the night.
The Steelers and Terriers both hit a post in the final frame and had a few more scoring chances but the goaltenders stood tall to bring us the final score of 2-1 Portage.
Terrier forward Bryden Kiesman describes the keys to the victory.
"Playing hard, playing simple, and playing our game," says Kiesman. "We played off the crowd tonight. There was a good crowd, and that gave us a lot of energy on the bench. We just turned it into our game, a full 60 minutes of complete hockey."
Kiesman notes he was happy to get re-acclimated with the back of the net.
"It feels good to get the monkey off the back. I haven't scored in a while. I was out of the lineup with surgery and stuff," Kiesman explains. "It felt good but I couldn't have done it without my linemates."
The Terriers will be looking to make it back-to-back wins as they hit the road tomorrow night for a rematch with the Steelers.