Skyler Sorenson scored the game winning goal and assisted on Portage Central’s first goal while Jaden Sorenson assisted on both goals as the Portage Central Mustangs won a tight game over cross town rival Portage Northern.
Portage Central entered this game with a 5-2 league record, in second place in the league, while Portage Northern entered with a 2-3 record, tied for fourth place. As in most rivalry games, the records don’t matter as both teams rise to the occasion.
The game started with the teams exchanging chances and playing in both ends. Portage Central went on a 5 minute powerplay when Husky Drew Jepson received a major penalty for checking from behind. While this was a great opportunity, the Mustangs would only be able to score one powerplay goal. After getting stopped on a breakaway, Konner McLeod passed the puck around the boards and back to the point where Skyler Sorenson waited on defense. Skyler Sorenson grabbed the puck and tried to blast it through all the bodies screening the goalie in front of the net. The puck hit the skate of his brother, Jaden Sorenson and fell to the ice where Konner McLeod spotted it and swung his stick at it, golfing the puck at the net. McLeod did not get good wood on the shot, but he got enough to flutter the puck up and over Northern goaltender Peter Todd and into the net, giving the Mustangs a 1-0 lead.
Portage Northern struck back two minutes later when Braden Falk drove on the Mustang net and goaltender Bryan Gracey. Falk cut across the slot and tried to shoot, but whiffed on his shot. Falk kept skating, grabbed the puck and was able to sneak it past Gracey onthe far side to tie the game at 1. Falk was assisted by Nolan McCarthy and Jonathan Slack.
The goaltenders then took over the show and didn’t let a goal in either net for the next 36 minutes as Gracey and Todd both turned away everything thrown at them.
With three and a half minutes left to play in the third period, Jaden Sorenson tapped a loose puck back to his brother Skyler who skated it back behind the Mustang net to allow his teammates to change. Skyler rounded the net and started skating out of the zone. As both teams were changing, the ice opened up for Sorenson and he gained speed. Once he reached the offensive blue line, Skyler Sorenson pulled the puck back, then flung a twisted wrister at the net and beat the goaltender blocker side for the go ahead goal!
The Huskies pulled their goalie for an extra attacker but were unable to score and Portage Central was victorious 2-1 and swept both regular season games. Mustang goaltender Bryan Gracey finished with 31 saves on 32 shots while Husky goaltender Peter Todd finished with 29 stops on 31 shots.
The Mustangs have three non-conference games this week:
WEDNESDAY vs Jackson United
January 23 at 5:30 pm @ Wings West Ice Arena
FRIDAY vs Gaylord Blue Devils
January 25 at 7:30 pm @ Wings West Ice Arena
SATURDAY vs Clarkston
January 26 at 12:45 pm @ Wings West Ice Arena