The Portage Islanders managed to claw one point of out Notre Dame in South Eastern Manitoba Hockey League action at the PCU Centre. They fell 7-6 in a shootout to extend their losing streak to five games.
"We made a good push at the end of the game," says Islanders' Eric DeLong, who finished with two goals on the night. "We had a lot of chances through the game but we didn't finish them until the ones at the end. The Hawks, on the other hand, were very opportunistic on their chances."
Portage jumped out to a one-nothing lead thanks to Zack Waldvogel's first of the night. It was the only goal scored in a physical first period.
Notre Dame combined for five goals in 11 minutes in the second period while the Islanders only found the back of the net twice. Tanner Waldvogel scored first and Anders Strome followed up with a powerplay goal. The score was 5-3 at after 40 minutes.
Zack Waldvogel scored his second of the night three minutes into the third on the powerplay to get the Islanders within one. Notre Dame's furious attack continued to throw hits at the Portage defence and it paid off in the form of a late goal to make it 6-4 with two-and-a-half minutes left in the game. As fans thought the game might be out of reach for the Islanders Eric DeLong scored twice in 11 seconds to tie the game with a minute to go.
Notre Dame had several chances to finish things off in overtime but a strong Portage penalty kept the Hawks off the board and forced overtime. The visitors went first in the shootout and Steve Clark was stoned by Mitch Wiebe. Anders Strome shot first for Portage and got them ahead 1-0 with a shot the beat Hawks' goalie Brett Timmerman. The next two Notre Dame shooters found the back of the net to put pressure on Islanders' final shooter Eric DeLong, who missed on the final chance to tie things up.
"The physical game isn't necessarily our game but I think we hold our own against people pretty good," says DeLong on the Hawks' intensity throughout. "That's a staple of their game. They're a meat and potatoes team, and there were definitely that here."
The Islanders are off until Sunday when they visit Winkler. The loss drops them to 9-2-3 this season.