The Portage Terriers are in search of their 15th win of the season tonight as they return to Stride Place.
The Dogs are coming off a 7-4 victory over the Winnipeg Blues in their last outing and will have a rematch with the squad tonight. Defenceman Brandon McCartney says they can't overlook the Blues.
"I think they play a pretty frustrating game. If we take them lightly and relax or look at our past scores against them, that's when we're going to run into some trouble with them," McCartney explains. "They maybe don't have one or two big names that are putting up thousands of points but their whole team, in general, is pretty solid. They play well structurally. So, we just have to make sure we're doing the little things."
The Terriers have beaten the Blues by three goals in all three of their meetings this season but the 20-year-old notes they still have to play as if this is their first matchup with Winnipeg.
McCartney was honoured with both the Terrier of the Month and the MJHL's Defenceman of the Month awards for his performance in October, where he dished out 14 assists and found the back of the net himself once, as well.
He describes both those awards as very humbling to receive but notes he couldn't have done it without the guys he has around him.
"It's great to be recognized by the league and by Portage but I don't think that is noticed without my teammates' help. For myself personally, most of my points are assists, you don't get those assists without someone else putting the puck in the net, and you don't even get those opportunities without someone getting the puck to you in the first place. It's super exciting for myself but I'm always just excited about the start we've had."
The Terriers have only lost two of their 16 games played to this point and are tied for first place in the MJHL standings. The Dogs also scored the most goals in the league, with 81 and have the second-highest goal differential at +34.
Terrier forward Kaden Kohle has been on a hot streak since joining the Terriers, as he has a goal in six straight contests, which is the longest scoring streak in the MJHL this season.
The Dogs and Blues are set to face off tonight in Portage, with puck drop set for 7:30.
Tale of the Tape
Terriers: Daniel Siso (7G, 14A, 21Pts)
Blues: Jack Kaiser (8G, 8A, 16Pts) and Luke Janus (6G, 10A, 16Pts)
Terriers: Bailey Monteith (2.35GAA, 0.907SV%)
Blues: Brock Moroz (4.75GAA, 0.883SV%)