Unable to find the back of the net, the Portage Terriers fell 7-3 Friday night to the Virden Oil Capitals in a sometimes chippy home opener.
The Terriers were behind 6-0 before putting a marker up against Kyle Kozma who stopped 37 shots and backstopped the entire 60 minutes. The Oil Capitals potted three goals in the first 11 minutes testing Terrier goalie Cole Johnston who stopped 31 of the 38 shots in his first complete game of the season.
The Terriers couldn’t capitalize enough on an Oil Capitals penalty-plagued third period. Virden took four minors and two 10-minute misconducts but managed a short-handed effort further confounding the Terriers.
Down 6-0, Portage offence came to life as Peyton Gorski beat Kozma over the blocker, but Virden’s Jack Einarson quickly responded on a shorthanded breakaway bringing their lead back to six.
Portage would get two goals late in the game from Rhys Raeside and Jacob Piller.
Portage finished the night 1/9 on the power play and 4/6 on the penalty kill.
The Terriers now trail Virden 2-1 in a four-game home and away series. The Dogs will Sunday night at 6:30 p.m. at Stride Place to tie.