It was an unfortunate outcome for the Portage Terriers tonight as they suffered just their second loss of the season. The Dogs were defeated by the Niverville Nighthawks 6-2 on home ice.
The Nighthawks began the scoring early in the first period as Brett Tataryn brought the puck in during a 3-on-1 opportunity and made a pass to Brendan Bottom, who was cutting down the slot. Bottem was now in all alone, and after making a few moves, he slid the puck between the pads of Terrier goaltender Bailey Monteith to give Niverville the early lead.
Bottem wasn't done there, as four minutes later, while short-handed, he raced to the puck that was deep in the Terriers' zone. Due to a line change by Portage, he was virtually the only man down there and made a wrap-around attempt that Monteith was able to stop, however, the rebound came right back to Bottom, and he made no mistake this time. This made it 2-0 Nighthawks which is how the score remained heading into the first intermission.
Niverville kept their foot on the gas in period number two as Braden Panzer found the back of the net just 30 seconds into the frame.
About 15 seconds later, Portage was finally able to get on the board as Kaden Kohle picked up his second goal in a Terrier uniform during a scramble in front and cut the lead down to two.
With less than five minutes gone in the period, Niverville brought the lead back up to three as Ben Whitford outstretched Monteith's pad to slip the puck by him on the power-play. Tataryn added another power-play marker for the Nighthawks near the midway mark of the frame to give them a 5-1 lead after 40 minutes.
The Terriers showed some life early in the third as Austin Peters had the puck in a 2-on-1 and passed it across to Kian Calder. He went to his backhand and beat Nighthawks goaltender Ethan Kadatz five-hole to make it 5-2.
Later in the frame, Calder collided with a Nighthawk and a referee and was shaken up on the play. He was helped off the ice and did not return.
Niverville added an empty netter with one minute to go to bring the final score to 6-2 Nighthawks.
Terrier forward Kaden Kohle says they needed to be better in this one.
"I think we could've competed more in our own barn," Kohle explains. "They came in, and they wanted to play. We just got outworked. We had too many turnovers. We just need to come to practice tomorrow and get ready for Friday."
Kohle says it's a blessing that they're able to get back on the ice in two days.
"We're happy that it's a quick turnaround. We don't want that sour taste in our mouth anymore," Kohle continues. "We're just going to compete harder and be smarter with the puck. I think we'll be fine."
The Terriers will return to Stride Place on Friday as they battle the Swan Valley Stampeders.