The Portage Terriers beat the Virden Oil Capitals 5-1 on Sunday night to take a 2-0 series lead.
Portage started slow out of the gate and both teams had trouble getting shots through to the net. Portage killed an early penalty to Parker Scherr and then couldn’t capitalize on back-to-back penalties by the Oil Capitals. 0-0 after 20 minutes.
Momentum started to swing in the Terriers' favour in the second period. Portage held Virden in their own zone for long stretches and eventually Mike Stubbs tipped Brandon McCartney’s point shot to open the scoring. The Terriers outshot Virden 14-7 in the second. 1-0 Portage after 2.
The flood gates opened up in the third period. Slade Stanick banged home his own rebound early in the third period off the rush to put Portage up by two. Ryan Botterill then made it 3-0 Terriers a minute later when he snapped home a shot low glove side. Portage kept the pressure up throughout the period but with the net empty, Virden broke Monteith’s shutout with three minutes left. This is as close as they would come. Noah Wagner scored an empty net goal from his own goal line, and then Kaden Kohle tapped in an empty net goal of his own to make it 5-1.
The game was played with a physical edge but both teams did a good job of staying out of the box. Portage finished 0/3 on the power play.
Game 3 is back in Portage on Tuesday night at 7:30pm. The other semi-final features Steinbach and Swan Valley. The Pistons are also up 2-0 in the series after a couple of home ice wins on the weekend. That series will also resume tomorrow with the next two games in Swan River.