Blizzard knock off league leader Portage

Manitoba Junior Hockey League leading Portage Terriers were in OCN this weekend for a pair of matchups with the Blizzard. Portage doubled up on the home team in the opener winning 6-3, but the young Blizzard showed great character winning the series finale on Saturday 3-2.

Portage (10-2-0-0) came into the weekend ranked sixth in the most recent Canadian Junior Hockey League rankings. The defending ANAVET Cup championship roster features six players with WHL experience and it showed early in both games. Just 2:36 into the Saturday game Justin Giacomin had the Terriers on the board.

Red-hot Ryan Butler would answer that goal at the 7:58 mark to tie the game. Butler was named MJHL First Star of the Week for his four-goal efforts the previous weekend.

Defenceman Cole Haukaas netted his first goal of the season at 4:23 of the second to give the Blizzard their first lead of the weekend. That advantage grew just :15 later when Boston Bird connected with Butler for the second time to make it 3-1. It was eighth goal of the season in just six games for Butler who was acquired from the Melville Millionaires on October 5.

The Terriers turned up the intensity after going down two goals putting 15 shots on net in the period. Reece Henry made it 3-2 at 13:35 on a powerplay goal, but that was all they would get on this night.

OCN goaltender Zack Cloutier and the team defence kept Portage off the board the final 26 minutes of the game to secure the victory. Cloutier stopped 29 of 31 shots to earn his third win of the season.

The Blizzard (5-6-0-0) are back in MJHL action on Wednesday welcoming the Swan Valley Stampeders (7-3-0-0) to Gordon Lathlin Memorial Centre. Puck drop scheduled for 7:00 PM.


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