The Portage Northern Huskies advanced to the Region 10 final of the MHSAA Division 2 state hockey tournament with a 5-2 win over crosstown rival Portage Central Tuesday night. After falling to the Mustangs in their four previous meetings this season (although the Huskies were later given one of the losses back on a forfeit), the fifth time was the charm for Portage Northern.
The game remained scoreless until a turning point early in the second period. Mustang forward Cam Westbrook picked up a five-minute major for contact to the head, which led to Husky powerplay goals by Roarke Ross and Griffin McLeod. Will Todd added a third Portage Northern goal later in the second for a 3-0 lead at the break.
The Mustangs got on the board on a 5-on-3 powerplay goal within the first two minutes of the third. However, a strong performance in net from freshman Peter Todd kept the Mustangs off the board until John Seals scored in the final minute. Between the two Mustang goals, Zonjic Singleton added to the Husky lead and Ross picked up his second goal of the evening on an empty net.
Portage Central ends the season at 8-17-1. Portage Northern improves to 8-17 and moves to the regional final Saturday at 3:30 from Paterson Ice Center in Grand Rapids. Their likely opponent is Forest Hills Eastern (16-9-1), although they still have to dispatch Kenowa Hills (4-21) in a semifinal Wednesday evening.
Listen back to Tuesday’s contest below