By Eoin Devereux
Neepawa Banner & Press
The opening season win streak for the Neepawa Natives has ended at three games, after a 4-2 loss to the Portage Terriers on Saturday, Sept. 30. The opening period of this showdown, which was played at Stride Place in Portage la Prairie, saw a massive offensive effort put forward from both sides.
Portage was able to score three times, while Neepawa responded with two of their own. Minnedosa’s Ryan Heino registered his second goal of the season to open up the scoring just 4:41 into the game. Lewis Negrich and Ashton Anderson assisted on the effort. Portage followed up with the next three to take control of the action, before Anderson put away his fourth goal and seventh point of the year. Brad Marshall and Mackenzie Belinski aided the Rivers product on that effort, making the score 3-2 after 20 minutes.
Things settled down in the second, as neither team was able to add another to the stat line. Then, in the third, the Terriers extended their lead at the 3:02 mark, and were able to hold on to the two goal cushion for the rest of regulation.
Neepawa’s Evan Robert turned aside 26 shots in the losing effort for the Natives, while Portage’s Zachary Bennett stopped 28 of 30 to collect the victory. Both Neepawa and Portage’s power-play went 1-for-5 on the night. The Natives (3-1-0) will look to get back in the win column on Friday, Oct. 6 in Swan River, with a game against the Swan Valley Stampeders. The next night, the Natives will be back on the ice, hosting the Selkirk Steelers at the Yellowhead Centre. Start time for that contest is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.