The Portage Terriers postseason is underway, and they have generated many new fans over the course of the year. While some of that is due to the team finishing first in the standings and having a prolific offence on the ice, a lot of new Terrier fans have been formed after connecting with the players off the ice.
The Terriers players took part in over a dozen local events this season while also visiting every school in the region for either 'I Love to Read Month' or to present a class with tickets to their next game. Local forward Ryan Botterill is always impressed by the reactions he gets out in the community.
"We have a big fan base here. It's awesome to see how much the kids look up to us. It makes me very excited for the playoff run."
In his off time, Botterill currently works at Portage Collegiate with the life-skills students and team captain Kian Calder has been doing the same. Calder says the experience has been eye-opening.
"You learn a lot of things doing these jobs. The kids are great. It's definitely good. We have a lot of guys working in the community. It's good to get your face out there," Calder explains. " I think that helps bring people to the games, for sure. We make bonds with these kids every day, and it's awesome."
Calder, Botterill, and the rest of the Terriers hope their work in the community this year will result in a rowdy crowd for the rest of their playoff run.