The Blades of Southwest Michigan defeated Portage Northern 5-2 Wednesday evening, clinching the outright SWMHSHL regular season championship in back-to-back seasons.
The Huskies struck first via an unassisted Blake Sorge goal midway through the first. Penalty woes helped skew the first period shots for the Blades, who eventually cashed in with a Jaxon Dobrowolski powerplay goal to tie the game with 4:45 to go. 18 seconds later, White Pigeon’s Blaine Shafer put the Blades ahead.
It would continue to be a sloppy affair with an additional 48 penalty minutes between the two teams for 60 total for the game and 25 minors. Chris Bigelow scored halfway through the second for a 3-1 lead, but the Huskies got back within one as Sorge scored again, this time shorthanded.
The Blades added a fourth goal via Comstock’s Owen Drake for a 4-2 advantage midway through the third. Although Portage Northern got one more powerplay in the final minutes, Bigelow locked up the Blade win with a coast-to-coast empty netter.
Vicksburg’s Jack Tomer stopped 23 shots in the victory with 31 saves in defeat for PN’s Peter Todd.
Portage Northern falls to 8-12 overall and remains fourth in the SWMHSHL standings at 3-5. The Huskies return to action with a Monday makeup against Mattawan.
The Blades jump to 30-8-0-1 overall and 8-0 in the league standings. They’re two league wins away from a perfect regular season, which hasn’t been done since Portage Central’s 2014-15 campaign. The Blades head to South Bend Saturday for Indiana action against Valpo and Riley.