The Portage Terriers remain undefeated at home after beating the Winnipeg Blues tonight. The Dogs beat the Blues 6-3, making them the winners of six straight games.
The Terriers’ offense started early. Matt Wisener picked up the puck in the neutral zone with speed and brought it along the boards. He cut to the net, got past the Blues goaltender and slid the puck past him before he could cross the crease. It made it 1-0 just over a minute into the game.
20 seconds later, Wisener had the puck low in the offensive zone and found Austin Peters near the slot. He fired a one-timer past Winnipeg goaltender Brock Moroz and extended the lead to two.
In the back half of the frame, Daniel Siso was waiting for a pass in the neutral zone with a defender at his side. When the puck came his way, he slammed it onto the defenseman’s stick and created a partial breakaway. With a man on his back, Siso still managed to find the back of the net and take the lead to 3-0.
While it initially looked like this game could spiral out of control, Winnipeg fought back. With less than three minutes remaining in the first period, Garett Zasitko fired the puck towards the net, and Michael Tanchak managed to put his stick on it and beat Terrier goaltender Jayden Catellier.
The Blues weren’t done there, as they had a 2-0 opportunity due to the Terriers’ line change. Ty McNaughton passed the puck to Brycen Gair, who got it right. It made it 3-2 after 20 minutes.
Catellier stopped the best scoring chance of the second period as Zasitko went to his backhand on a shorthanded breakaway, but was denied by the goaltender. The Terriers held a one-goal lead until the final quarter.
In the opening minute of the third, it was once again Wisener who was able to use his speed to get past the defense, and this time he came down the blocker side to score his second goal of the game.
Winnipeg won’t be leaving, however, as Jack Kaiser managed to pick up the puck behind the Terriers’ net, skate in front and fire a point-blank shot that put it back to a one-goal game.
With five minutes left in the game, Jamie Valentino went from start to finish on the power play and fired a shot from the slot between two defenders that beat Moroz on the blocker side.
Two minutes later, Brandon Funk’s shot was saved, but the puck went up in the air after the save. Hayden Chaloner showed off his hand-eye coordination as he struck into the back of the net to make it 6-3 and seal the deal.
Matt Wisener had three points in the contest. It describes the keys to victory.
“I think that was our D-zone and also our back-checking. They’re a team that likes to play in a hurry, and I think we did a good job of stopping that,” Wisener continued. “There were times when we let off the gas a bit, and they took advantage of that, but overall a solid game in the D zone is what I think did for us.”
The Dogs have now scored 31 goals in their last five games and lead the MJHL with 49 total goals this season (second place is OCN Blizzard with 35 goals).
“Everyone participates, and that’s always good. You can’t score on one line. So it’s good that it gets passed down. Last game, we had eight different scorers,” Wisener explains. “We play as a team and we also get help from the back, so that’s always good.”
Portage will have nearly a week off before his next outing as he looks to extend his winning streak to seven on Friday, Oct. 14 in Swan Valley against the Stampeders.