Terriers dominate in Neepawa


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Defencemen Jake Schultz keeps a puck out of the Neepawa net.

By Eoin Devereux

The Neepawa Banner

The Neepawa Natives were simply outmatched on Sunday night as they were defeated by the Portage Terriers 9-3. The Terriers started the night off quickly, with forward Shawn Bowles scoring their first goal just 44 seconds into the opening period.



Bowles followed that up with a power play marker about five and a half minutes later to make it 2-0. Shortly after that, it was Portage captain Tanner Jago who lit the lamp to give them a comfortable 3-0 cushion less than ten minutes into the first period. Neepawa refused to surrender however, as Shawn Pachet notched the Natives’ first goal at 14:52.  Heading into the first intermission, the Terriers led 3-1 and had outshot Neepawa 18-4.



The second period was more of the same, with four goals from the Terriers compared to a single marker for Neepawa. Jordyn Boyd, Matt Alexander, David Robertson and Taylor Friesen all scored in the second for Portage, while it was Drake Lindsay who countered for the Natives. It was another one sided period on the shot count, as the home side could just muster five shots on goaltender Justin Laforest. Reid Stallard on the other hand faced another 18 shots on net, for a two period total of 36.



In the final frame, Garick Gray and Brad Bowles each registered a goal for the visitors, while Shawn Pachet secured his second of the evening for Neepawa while shorthanded late in the third to make the final 9-3. The shots on goal were very much in favour of the Portage Terriers, as they put 50 in total on net compared to just 12 shots on goal for Neepawa.



After the game, Neepawa assistant coach Dustin Howden said the combination of Portage’s remarkable amount of depth, as well as the Natives’ injury woes, played huge factors in the games end result. He did note however that Neepawa never gave up and was not intimidated by the best team in the CJHL.



The loss was the fourth straight for the Natives, while Portage won its fifth in a row. Combined with a loss on Saturday night in Virden against the Oil Capitals, Neepawa has now fallen to 10-23-1 on the season.