Terriers one win away

KIRK PENTON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 7:32 AM ET

SELKIRK -- The final buzzer sounded, and Selkirk Steelers head coach Keith Cassidy headed for the dressing room.

Along the way he absolutely hammered the wall several times with his white board, trying to get the frustration out after what had just happened.

Ryan Audino scored with 2:30 remaining in the third period to give the Portage Terriers a 3-2 win in front of a standing-room-only crowd of 2,500 spectators at the Selkirk Rec Complex last night.

The Terriers have a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven MJHL final and can win their third Turnbull Trophy in five years on Tuesday night with a win in Game 5 at Centennial Arena.

"If we win at home it'd be nice, you know, with the home crowd, but we gotta be prepared," said Audino, sporting the white hard hat that goes to Portage's hardest-working player after each game. "They're going to come back hard with their backs against the wall."

Cassidy took several minutes to calm down after his white board abuse.

After finally emerging from the dressing room, he wondered aloud if his team, which managed just four shots in the third period, has the faith.

"We gotta start believing in ourselves in that room," Cassidy said. "Right now I think we're not sure if we're worthy of winning this or not at this particular moment.

"Guys gotta look at each other and believe that we can get this done, because we have the ability. It's just a matter of going and doing it."

Cassidy then mentioned the 2005 Addison Division final against the Winnipeg South Blues, when the Steelers became the only MJHL team in history to win a series after trailing 3-0.

Portage defenceman Drew Ellement, who had 13 goals in 63 regular-season games, extended his playoff scoring streak to a whopping 12 contests with his 16th of the post-season.

Riley Nixdorf had the other tally for the visitors and also set up Audino's game-winner.

Colan Jackson and Russ Payne, who made it 2-2 with 5:50 remaining in the third, replied for Selkirk.

Alan Armour was solid in the Selkirk net, turning away 39 shots.

Bryan Mountain made 23 saves for Portage.

kirk.penton@sunmedia.ca


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