Portage Terriers are one victory away from winning another MJHL championship with a nail-biting 3-1 win Sunday night over OCN Blizzard.
Terriers, who are now up 3-2 in the best-of-seven series, now have a chance to win their third consecutive Turnbull Cup at home on Wednesday.
“We played like we needed to,” Terriers’ GM/Head Coach Blake Spiller told CFRY-Radio. “(OCN) had some chances and they aren’t going away. They (OCN) are now playing for their lives on Wednesday. We know they’ll be tough.”
“We’re not going to look too far ahead. We go home, relax for a day and get back to work on Tuesday and then worry about Wednesday when the time comes.”
After a scoreless first period, three goals were scored in the second period with Ty Barnstable and Mackenzie Dwyer (powerplay) scoring for the Terriers, while Justin Nachbauer ignited the raucous crowd at Gordon Lathlin Memorial with a powerplay goal.
“Coming up the last two games the guys really didn’t know what to expect,” Dwyer said of the losses in Game 1 and 2. “Tonight we learned from the last two games. We put our losses up here behind us and got back to work.”
“We kept doing what we needed to do tonight. Obviously, we know OCN is not going to quit.”
Terriers managed to hang on in the third period and with OCN goaltender Brett Epp on the Blizzard bench in the dying seconds, Ryan Hendrix added an insurance goal for the Terriers with an empty-net goal.
“Obviously the last couple of game weren’t pretty for us,” Spiller said of the Terriers’ two losses in Games 1 and 2. “I thought we played real solid in the first period today. I thought we generated some offence in the first and played with confidence. Getting that first goal was good for us.
“We played with a lot more confidence and a little bit more relaxed after our first two games here. We wanted to get the two at home to be even up coming back here. I thought we played solid for the most part. But, Chappy (goaltender Kurtis Chapman) pulled us through.”
EXTRA POINTS: CFRY’s Hardest-Working Player of the Game award went to Mackenzie Dwyer … Player of the Game Award was given to goaltender Kurtis Chapman … OCN Blizzard was the last team to win three-consecutive MJHL championships (1999-2003; five in total).