The final game before the Christmas break ended in disappointment for the Neepawa Natives, as they dropped a 2-1 decision to the Portage Terriers on Saturday, Dec. 19.
Neepawa was able to keep pace with the top team in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL) throughout regulation at the Yellowhead Centre and it appeared that the game would head into overtime. But with 3:20 remaining in the final period, Terriers’ forward Brad Bowles scored a tremendous short-handed goal to give the visitors a late 2-1 lead. Chase Brakel also scored for Portage, tying the game 1-1 at the midway mark of the second with a power play goal. Matthew Millan scored the lone goal for Neepawa, giving the home side a 1-0 lead 6:40 into the second period. That was Millan’s first goal of the season.
Jeremy Link was solid in net for the Natives, stopping 42 shots between the pipes. Nathan Park was steady as well in net for the opposing side, picking up his 24th win of the season. Neepawa finished the evening 0-for-4 on the power-play, while Portage went 1-for-5.
The next game for the Neepawa Natives will be on Wednesday, Dec. 30 when they travel to Waywayseecappo to face the Wolverines.