Portage Terriers dropped a tough 5-0 loss to Brooks Bandits Wednesday night at the Sun Life Financial Western Canada Cup in Penticton. The MJHL champions are now 1-2 after three games and are facing a must-win situation when they take on host Penticton Vee’s (1-1-1) Thursday night. Four of five teams qualify for the weekend playoff round. Currently, Terriers have not yet claimed a playoff spot.
Terriers will be closely watching Thursday’s afternoon game between Battlefords North Stars (0-3) and Chilliwack Chiefs (2-1-O). If the North Stars win in regulation time, then the Terriers must win their final game against Penticton to qualify for the weekend playoffs.
Brooks, who were ranked the No. 1 team in the CJHL, finished the round robin undefeated in four starts/11 points. Chilliwack Chiefs clinched second with a 2-1 record and six points. Brooks and Chilliwack will then face each other on the weekend in the 1-2 game; with the winner moving on to the RBC Cup. The loser of the 1-2 showdown will play the winner of the third/fourth-place playoff. The winner of that game also moves on the RBC Cup.
“We got the start we wanted but they’re a good team and turned their game up,” Terriers’ GM/Head Coach Blake Spiller told CFRY-Radio. “They toyed with us a bit and we struggled at times. We had our opportunities early. We wanted to give them some adversity by scoring early and had our chances.”
“Good teams make you pay when you make mistakes and that’s what we did early: made mistakes. It then started to snowball. They’re a good club and there’s a reason why they haven’t lost. I thought we were a bit over matched tonight. At the end of the day they were the better team and you have to tip your hat to them. I thought we had showed well up until today. Overall, we kept playing and want to be better for Thursday. We’ll chalk this loss up to experience.”
Photo by: Heather Jordan