The Terriers came ready to win last night's Teddy Bear Toss game, as they beat the Neepawa Natives 7-4 in MJHL hockey at the PCU Centre.
It didn't take long for teddy bears to come flying over the boards as Layne Toder scored on the powerplay to start the toss 2 minutes into the game. 3 more goals were scored by Portage in the first from McIsaac, Bliid and Enns, while the Natives found the back of the net twice on the powerplay in the frame.
The second period was a forgettable one for Portage, as they only managed 5 shots on net while allowing 16 against. The Natives closed the gap halfway through the frame but the dogs were able to hold out for a 4-3 lead after 40.
The Terriers found their game in the third, combining for 3 goals in the period and only allowing 1 against. Brock Aiken stopped 38 of the 42 shots he faced, with 33 coming in the first two periods. Assistant Coach Paul Harland says nothing was needed to be said during the second intermission because it was obvious what the issue was.
"I think they realized that we spend most of the second period in our own zone. So we told them to get back to what we were doing in the first period and get their feet moving to get the pace of the game going. We were fortunate to get a few goals in the 3rd period to get the win."
Harland says it was a good win from the boys despite their lapse in play during the second. He says the Teddy Bear Toss game is always really special for the organization and the players.
"It's a special night, and the boys are excited to play and score early, and luckily we did. When you see them all raining down like that it's pretty neat and really nice to be a part of it."
The win is the Terriers 4th in a row and 18th of the year. Their next challenge is Steinbach Wednesday night at the PCU Centre.
The Terriers could see a couple of veteran blue-liners back in the line-up this week. Harland says it'll be a big boost to the line-up.
"It's a good possibility that Thiessen and Thomson will be back, and Doyle will be back from his suspension too. If they're able to play (Wednesday) that will be a huge boost to our back-end, the guys that have AP'd, and forwards that have played defense have done a great job for us down this stretch but it'll be nice to have our vets back. They can help us get the puck out of our end, and guys are getting tired and worn out, so it's nice to get some fresh bodies back in the line-up and when they're 20-year-old's that makes a big difference too."
Layne Toder's been hot since his return to the line-up. He's got 3 points, 2 goals and 1 assist in his last two. Calvin Bliid returned to the line-up last night as well after missing a couple of weeks, he came away with 2 points on the night.