Portage Terriers upend Neepawa 4-1



By Eoin Devereux

The Neepawa Banner

If moral victories counted in the MJHL standings, the Neepawa Natives would be right in the thick of things. Unfortunately, they don't and the Natives must settle for another defeat, this time to Canada's top junior 'A' team, the Portage Terriers by a 4-1 score.

Jacob Dickison of the Natives opened the scoring at 7:18 of the first period. Before the first 20 minutes were over however, Portage answered with a goal from Tyler Jeanson, to tie things up at 1-1. 

In the second period, the Terriers proved why they are the best team in the nation, by registering 20 shots on goal against Alex Henry and scoring three to make it 4-1. Chase Faulkner, Jordyn Boyd and Zack Waldvogel each registered a goal.

Neepawa fought back in the final frame with 17 shots on goal but were unable to light the lamp against goaltender Justin Laforest.

Natives coach Dwayne Kirkup said the game against Portage along with a recent defeat against Winnipeg are disappointing but should not be looked at as a step backwards

"I know it's a small step and I know it's two losses but I think all the players are emptying the tank. They're giving me everything that they have. I'm proud of the group," Kirkup said. "I know people that just look at the score sheet will see it as another 4-1 loss but you're playing against the best team in the country and they left everything they had out there."

The loss in the sixth in a row for Neepawa, who drop to 8-19-1 on the year. Portage meanwhile wins their 14th in a row and are 30-1-1 on the season.