The Winkler Flyers took it on the chin Tuesday night in Portage, losing 8-1 to the hometown Terriers. The Flyers dug themselves a first period hole and never recovered, losing for just the second time this season.
Coming into Portage with three straight wins, the Orange and Black were looking to hand this year’s RBC Cup hosts their first loss of the season. Both teams were tied with the Winnipeg Blues for first place in the MJHL entering the game.
The Terriers took an early 1-0 lead just 2:50 into the game. With 8:02 left in the period, Tyler Jeanson put Portage up 2-0 and in the next six minutes, the Terriers would score three more goals to take a 5-0 lead on the Flyers with just over two minutes remaining in the opening period. That would spell the end of the night for goaltender Adam Vander Linden who was replaced by Dasan Sydora.
Portage would take their five goal lead into the break while outshooting the Flyers 14-7 through 20 minutes.
The home side would increase their lead to 6-0 when Jeanson scored his second of the game just over two minutes into the second. The Flyers would get on the board, 8:37 into the period when former Terrier Jon Carlson skated the puck down the ice on the power-play and found Tristan Keck in the slot who fired home his team leading seventh goal of the season, cutting Portage’s lead to 6-1.
However, the Terriers would strike for two more goals in the next two minutes to take an 8-1 lead.
The score would remain the same through 40 minutes and with no more goals in the third, the Terriers managed to stay unbeaten on the season with the 8-1 victory.
Adam Vander Linden (3-1) suffered his first loss of the season, making nine saves on 14 shots through 18 minutes of work. Dasan Sydora (1-1) made 13 saves on the 16 shots he faced the rest of the way. Portage outshot Winkler 30-21 overall.
Winkler went 1-for-5 on the powerplay and 3-for-3 on the penalty-kill.
The Flyers will look to shake this one off when the league converges on Winnipeg for the annual MJHL Showcase at the MTS Iceplex this weekend. Winkler (4-2) will host the OCN Blizzard (3-3) on Friday at 1:00pm in their first of two games at the Showcase. The Flyers will also play Waywayseecappo (1-4) on Saturday afternoon.