p o r team feature

Road to the 2019 National Junior A Championship: Portage Terriers

The West Region champions, and 2020 hosts, are riding a balanced offence towards a third national title

Jason La Rose
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May 7, 2019
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Twelve months from now, the Portage Terriers will play host to the 50th edition of Canada’s National Junior A Championship.

What’s the best way to prepare? By playing in the 49th.

But this is no dress rehearsal for the Terriers; they’re out to win a third national championship (joining their 1973 and 2015 titles), and they have the résumé to prove it.

The Terriers are back at the big dance for the fourth time in the last nine years, and the 2018-19 season, strictly by the numbers, was one of their best.

Portage simply scored its way to Brooks; its 4.62 goals per game during the regular season ranked 10th among the 133 teams in the CJHL, it was one of just six CJHL teams to post a goal differential in triple digits (+127) and its power play ranked eighth in the country at an even 25%.

It added 86 goals in 20 playoff games, including 25 in five games during its ANAVET Cup win over Battlefords.

And the offence comes from everywhere. Eight different players recorded at least 40 points during the regular season, 11 Terriers hit the 15-goal plateau, and their top three playoff scorers (Brakel, Mickoski, Buchholz) were different than their top three regular-season scorers (Moffatt, Funk, Barnstable).

As most successful teams tend to do, the Terriers are chasing history; a championship in Brooks would make them just the third team to win three or more national titles, joining the Vernon Vipers (six) and Prince Albert Raiders (four).

HOW THEY GOT TO BROOKS

Manitoba Junior Hockey League
Quarter-final: defeated Waywayseecappo 4-0 (4-1, 3-1, 8-5, 5-2)
Semifinal: defeated Virden 4-0 (4-1, 5-2, 3-2 OT, 5-2)
MJHL championship: defeated Swan Valley 4-3 (3-0, 5-6 OT, 3-2, 2-7, 3-4 3OT, 5-2, 3-2 OT)

ANAVET Cup
Championship: defeated Battlefords 4-1 (2-3, 4-3 OT, 5-3, 7-5, 7-3)

REGULAR SEASON

Record (W-L-OTL): 46-11-3 (1st in MJHL)
Goals for: 277 (1st in MJHL)
Goals against: 150 (2nd in MJHL)
Power play: 71 for 284 (25.0% – 1st in MJHL)
Penalty killing: 217 of 258 (84.1% – 5th in MJHL)
Longest winning streak: 11 (Dec. 12-Jan. 18)
Top 3 scorers:
- Joey Moffatt – 26G 30A 56P (9th in MJHL)
- Reilly Funk – 18G 35A 53P (13th in MJHL)
- Ty Barnstable – 24G 27A 51P (15th in MJHL)

PLAYOFFS

Record: 16-4
Goals for: 86
Goals against: 56
Power play: 18 for 84 (21.4%)
Penalty killing: 68 of 85 (80.0%)
Top 3 scorers:
- Chase Brakel – 11G 17A 28P
- Scott Mickoski – 10G 12A 22P
- Jay Buchholz – 9G 8A 17P

NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY

1973 – Portage Terriers | national champions | 4-1 | 22GF 16GA
2005 – Portage Terriers | 5th place | 1-3 | 11GF 18GA
2011 – Portage Terriers | 5th place | 1-3 | 12GF 17GA
2012 – Portage Terriers | 5th place | 1-3 | 9GF 15GA
2015 – Portage Terriers | national champions | 5-1 | 24GF 12GA

COMMITMENTS

Ocean Wiesblatt – University of Vermont (2019-20)

CJHL TOP 20 RANKINGS

Sept. 24 – not ranked
Oct. 1 – Honourable Mention
Oct. 8 – not ranked
Oct. 15 – 8th
Oct. 22 – 12th
Oct. 29 – 19th
Nov. 5 – 16th
Nov. 12 – 12th
Nov. 19 – 10th
Nov. 26 – 10th
Dec. 3 – 5th
Dec. 10 – 6th
Dec. 17 – 7th
Jan. 7 – 6th
Jan. 14 – 6th
Jan. 21 – 6th
Jan. 28 – 5th
Feb. 4 – 5th 
Feb. 11 – 5th
Feb. 18 – 7th
Feb. 25 – 7th
March 4 – 7th

For more information:

Dominick Saillant
Director, Communications
Hockey Canada
514-895-9706
[email protected]

 

Esther Madziya
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada
403-284-6484
[email protected]

 

Spencer Sharkey
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada
Office: 403-777-4567
Mobile: 905-906-5327
[email protected]

 

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