After a six day break, The Swan Valley Stampeders returned to action Saturday January 19th, as they took on the first place Portage Terriers.
The top two teams in the MJHL went head-to-head Saturday night with goaltender Merek Pipes stealing the show at Stride place in Portage la Prairie, MB.
Both teams entered the game with the season series tied at one.
The Stampeders found themselves on their heels to start off the game, which allowed the Terriers to gain momentum in the first ten minutes. All the momentum built by Portage was stymied by Goaltender Merek Pipes, as he stopped all thirteen shots he faced in the opening frame. After twenty minutes of play the two clubs found themselves deadlocked at 0.
West Olive, MI, USA product Campbell Balk scored his sixth of the year and opened the scoring as he beat a sprawled out Nathan Moore on a rebound, 1:18 into the middle frame. Merek Pipes continued his dominating performance as he turned aside fifteen shots directed his way throughout the middle frame. Both clubs headed to the dressing room with the score 1-0 for Swan, and the shots 28–21 for the Terriers.
The Terriers pressed the Stamps throughout the third period, sending fourteen shots on goal, but could not solve the 20-year-old, Victoria, BC product. Josh Tripp sealed the deal at 19:32 of the third, sending his twenty eighth of the year into an empty net and the Stampeders went on to defeat the Portage Terriers 2-0. Merek Pipes 42 save shutout, his third in a Stampeder uniform, earned him tonight’s first star. Final shots on goal 42-27 for Portage.
Swan Valley’s record now sits at 28-9-3-2, nine points behind the Terriers for first place overall in the MJHL standings. The Stampeders next action will be Tuesday Jan 22nd in OCN as they face the Blizzard. Puck drop is 7:00pm.