Photo: Erica Perreaux/Hockey Canada Images
Portage la Prairie, MB – The Portage Terriers are moving on to the Centennial Cup’s semi-finals.
The Dogs defeated the Yarmouth Mariners 2-1 in the quarterfinals tonight and are one of just four teams left in the tournament.
The Terriers struck first in the opening frame. Daniel Siso received the puck at the top of the faceoff circle on the power-play. He took a couple of strides toward the net, faked a shot and made a pass to the doorstep. The puck went right to Brock MacDonald, who made sure to capitalize.
Portage held onto their 1-0 until the halfway mark in the second when they were able to extend it. With the Terriers on the power-play again, team captain Kian Calder fires a shot from the top of the circle through traffic. Yarmouth goaltender Keegan Warren got a piece of it but not enough to stop it from crossing the red line. 2-0 Terriers.
Late in the second, the Mariners threw the puck toward the net from the corner. Monteith had his stick on the ice, and the puck ricocheted off it before bouncing high into the air. Parker Scherr tried to catch it with his glove and bring it down, but unfortunately for the Terriers, the puck ended up in the back of their own net.
The Terriers focused on holding their one-goal lead in the third. Yarmouth outshot Portage 14-5 in the frame but Bailey Monteith held his ground and made 36 saves in the contest.
Monteith has stopped 35+ shots in all but one game at the Centennial Cup. His biggest saves in this one came late when the Mariners had their goalie pulled. Reilly Mayne came around the net with the puck on his backhand and made a pass right in front. There was heavy traffic in tight, and Yarmouth had a couple of whacks at it but Monteith stood tall and helped Portage move on to the semi-finals.
Daniel Siso picked up two points in the contest. He says they are very proud to be semi-finalists but the job is not done.
“We had a lot of confidence going into that game. We know the players we have in that room, and we just gel together,” Siso explains. “I think the fans saw that this was a hard-fought win. Now, we’re going to get ready for the next game. We’ll be prepared, for sure.”
The Terriers will take on the Battlefords North Stars in the semi-final tomorrow, the only team to beat them in the round-robin.
“We absolutely want to get some revenge. They have a great club over there but we know we have a great club here, as well,” Siso continues. “It’s going to be a battle. We’re going to compete to the end and, hopefully, come out with that W.”
The other quarterfinal matchup on Friday saw the Ottawa Jr. Senators defeat the Collingwood Blues 4-2. Ottawa will face the Brooks Bandits on Saturday in the semi-final at 3:30, while Portage and Battlefords hit the ice at 7:30.