It was a career night for Terriers’ rookie forward Sheldin Howard, as he recorded a hat-trick and an assist on the night as Portage beat the Steinbach Pistons 5-2.
The Terriers jumped on the Pistons from the opening face-off, and the boys in grey and blue couldn’t recover. Ethan Peterson made his Portage debut, and stopped 20 of 22 Pistons shots in the win. Matt Radomsky got the start for Steinbach, and had a rare off-night letting in four goals on 14 shots. Matt Lenz came in for the third period and turned aside 10 of 11 shots in relief.
Howard got the scoring started 57 seconds into the game, as he put in a rebound past Radomsky giving Portage the 1-0 lead. The Thompson native then put in his 2nd of the game at the 5:14 mark and the Terriers had the dream start they were looking for. Both Reilly Funk and Reece Henry picked up the assists on the goals.
The Pistons clawed back the momentum after falling behind two, and got to within one as Tanner Mole put it past Peterson from the slot with 2:46 to go. Tyson McConnell had the lone assist on Mole’s 9th of the season.
Steinbach had three power play opportunities in the first half of the second period, but could not find a quality shot towards goal. The Terriers would rip the momentum away as Lane Taylor beat Radomsky from the point to restore the multi-goal lead with 5:54 to go in period 2. Jay Buchholz and Logan Calder had the assist on Taylor’s 4th goal of the year.
Howard completed his hat-trick shortly after, as he came down the right wing and put it past Radomsky unassisted to give Portage a 4-1 lead after forty minutes.
Brendan Westbrook pulled Steinbach to within two, as he tipped a Caydin Cleland point shot past Peterson four minutes into the third period. Marcel Berube got the bonus helper on Westbrook’s 3rd of the season.
However, the Terriers would salt the game with 11 minutes to go, as Jay Buchholz rang one off the crossbar. The rebound went to defenceman Owen Murray, and he buried it into the wide-open net for a 5-2 lead. Howard had the other assist on the rookie Murray’s 3rd goal of the season.
The Pistons were a disappointing 0 for 6 with the man advantage, while the Terriers were 1 for 6.
UP NEXT: The Pistons will get a week off before hitting the ice next Saturday against the OCN Blizzard, and then a 2018 Turnbull Cup rematch on Sunday versus the Virden Oil Capitals. Both games are at the TG Smith Centre, you can purchase your tickets for those games at Steinbachpistons.ca.