TERRIERS HAMMER MUSTANGS, BOOK SPOT IN RBC CUP FINAL
JASON LA ROSE
PORTAGE LA PRAIRIE, Man. – Jordyn Boyd had a pair of third-period goals to finish the scoring and help the Portage Terriers advance to the championship game at the 2015 RBC Cup with a 6-1 win over the Melfort Mustangs on Saturday night.
The Terriers will face the Carleton Place Canadians in Sunday’s final at the PCU Centre (7 p.m. CT, TSN).
Portage is the 14th host team since the start of the five-team era in 1990 to reach the championship game, and will look to become the first hosts to win the national title since the Weyburn Red Wings in 2005.
Garick Gray, Taylor Friesen, Brett Orr and Zack Waldvogel scored the other goals for the Terriers, who beat Melfort for the second time in three days; they scored a 3-2 victory to close out the preliminary round Thursday night.
David Heath was the lone goal scorer for the Mustangs, who fell one win short of the second championship game appearance in franchise history.
Neither team could get much going offensively in the first period, combining for just eight shots on goal.
Heath gave Melfort the lead early in the second, stepping into a slap shot from the high slot and hammering it past Terriers goaltender Zac Robidoux for the 1-0 advantage at 3:53.
But Gray batted a rebound past Mustangs netminder Richard Palmer at 7:09 to tie the game, and Friesen picked up a loose puck in the neutral zone before unleashing a backhand that went off the far post and in to give the Terriers the lead for good just 70 seconds after Gray’s goal.
Orr made it 3-1 late in the middle frame, following the rush with Portage shorthanded before sliding a shot under Palmer on a pretty backhand feed from Waldvogel.
Waldvogel got one of his own at 8:44 of the third period on a 5-on-3 advantage, capitalizing on a friendly bounce off the end boards, and Boyd scored his first on the second half of the power play for a 5-1 lead.
Melfort pulled Palmer with six minutes to go in a last-ditch effort, but Boyd hit the empty net from his own zone at 16:31 to clinch the win in front of a capacity (and very much pro-Terriers) crowd at the PCU Centre.
Portage totally shut down the Mustangs’ offence, holding it to just 13 shots on goal; Melfort didn’t reach double digits in shots until the 13:34 mark of the third period.