The Portage Terriers are Manitoba Junior Hockey League Champions for the third year in a row.
Game six was a defensive battle with Portage prevailing 1-0 over the visiting OCN Blizzard. After dropping the first two games of the final in OCN the Terriers rebounded to win the next four straight.
With fans still finding their seat, Terrier assistant captain Chase Brakel found the back of the net 1:16 into the game. James McIsaac fed a perfect pass across the slot on the rush and Brakel beat OCN goalie Brett Epp on the glove side. Jeremey Leipsic picked up the other assist. Portage would get a power play later in the first but couldn't beat Epp. A simple style of play would be key for Portage as the game moved along: chipping pucks into the attacking zone, nothing fancy, and clearing it out of their defensive zone.
Portage would get into penalty trouble in the second period but were able to kill off all three. As the clock dwindled, the Blizzard poured on the pressure but with the net empty, they couldn't tie the game. Kurtis Chapman stood tall in net making some key saves along the way. He stopped all 27 shots that he faced picking up his third shutout of the playoffs. The Dogs lifted the Turnbull Cup in front of 2288 spectators at Stride Place.
The Terriers were able to win the championship despite missing their captain and top defenseman Riley Thiessen in game six due to injury. Nick Doyle entered into the lineup and Kain Stevenson played some solid minutes filling the void left by the captain.
The Terriers have won seven out of the last 10 championships and are now on their way to the Western Canada Cup in Penticton BC. The WCC will start April 29th and will feature the top Junior A teams from Western Canada: Battleford North Stars (SJHL), Brooks Bandits (AJHL), Chilliwack Chiefs (BCHL), Penticton Vees (Host).
See photos below.