The Fighting Walleye were on the wrong side of history Saturday night as the host Portage Terriers defeated Kam River 12-2 before a large and supportive hometown crowd.
The game was tied 2-2 after a period, but a nightmarish 8-goal second frame–on 23 shots–put the game away. The 12 goals in a game are the most by one team in Centennial Cup history, eclipsing the previous record by one.
The Walleye have 21 hours to regroup. They face the 0-1-1 Steinbach Pistons Sunday at 7:30 CDT.
Parker Scherr opened the scoring at 11:04 of the first. Brydon Kiesman dished off to an open Scherr on an aborted wrap-around for a 1-0 Terriers lead. Josh Pufahl’s powerplay goal through traffic tied it up at 14:39.
The Terriers had killed off a two-minute 5-on-3 and were in the midst of killing off a four-minute double minor when Pufahl hit the twine.
Ryan Botterill scored his first of two on a Portage powerplay at 17:33 but Max Leduc tied it with a top shelf snipe just 33 seconds later. Leduc also assisted on Pufahl’s goal.
The Terriers scored their eight goals in a 13:09 span of the second. Rory Neill, Matt Wisener and Austin Peters struck for three in a 2:07 span starting at the 50-second mark. Botterill chased Kam River starter Eric Vanska at 5:19 with a high blocker effort to make it 6-2.
Jack Orchard, making only his second post-season appearance, was beaten glove side 1:18 later on an unassisted marker by Branden McCartney. Austin McLean, Kain Calder and Hayden Lacquette continued the barrage with a three-goal spree in 2:17, giving Portage a 10-2 lead.
McLean got his second of the game 23 seconds into the third on a Portage powerplay, and Slade Stanick scored at 4:36 to set the record and mercifully end the scoring.
The Terriers scored twice in four powerplays while Kam River was 1-3.
Leduc was leveled by a clean open-ice hit by Scherr to end his evening early in the third.
Josh Morton and Euan Morrison both rang the crossbar for Kam River, and Morton’s skill at blocking shots continued to shine regardless of the score.
Bailey Monteith made 22 saves in the Portage cage. Vanska had 14 saves and Orchard shunted aside 20.
Peters had a goal and three helpers as did Neill to lead the production parade for Portage. Sixteen players recorded at least a point for the Terriers, who lead their division with a pair of regulation wins good for six points.
Kam River has two games to make up points. The Walleye have two regulation losses so far.