Noah Giesbrecht stopped all 20 shots he faced as the Portage Terriers blanked the Steinbach Pistons 3-0 Saturday night in Portage la Prairie.
The Terrier win snapped Steinbach’s five game win streak after the Christmas break, and they also picked up their first win over the Pistons since their first meeting back on September 25th.
Steinbach saw their two new acquisitions inserted into the lineup on Saturday night. Forward Ryan Butler made his Pistons debut and started on a line with Max Neill and Tanner Mole, and then moved up to play with Ty Naaykens and Carter Loney during the second and third periods.
Goalie Thomson Phinney also donned the Pistons white and blue for the first time as he backed up Matt Lenz, who took his first loss since November 21st as he stopped 22 of 25 shots.
It was a defensive battle all game just like the one on Wednesday night, with shots on goal hard to come by. Portage would notch the game’s first goal off the rush with a man up, as Kolten Shindle finished off a nice passing play to grab a 1-0 Terrier lead at the 11:28 mark.
The Pistons would play a better 20 minutes in the second period but couldn’t solve Giesbrecht and the Terrier defense, including not capitalizing on their only power play chance of the game.
Portage would go up on another power play as new acquisition Austen Flaman fed Owen Murray cross-ice, and the 17-year-old defenceman went bardown to beat Lenz at the 8:20 mark of the third.
The closest Steinbach would come to scoring was off a nifty backhand shot by Codey Behun that beat Giesbrecht, but not the crossbar. The game would stay 2-0 until Brett Namaka went in on a breakaway and fired a shot off the post, but the puck ricocheted off of Lenz and into the net for a 3-0 lead with 1:24 remaining in the game.
Steinbach went 0 for 1 on the PP while the Terriers went 2 for 5 on the night.
UP NEXT: Steinbach will head to Winkler on Tuesday night in another big contest between two of the top teams in the MJHL. Catch the game live on HockeyTV with a 7:30 pm puck drop.