Portage Central defeated Portage Northern 9-5 Monday evening in the 16th annual Portage Rotary hockey classic, giving the Mustangs the canoe trophy for the 13th time in 16 tries.
PC jumped ahead with three goals in the final seven minutes of the first period. Jaden Sorenson struck first with 6:20 left on assists by Gavin Brasosky and Beckett Saline. With 4:17 to go, Hunter Maschke scored with help by Ryan Jaros and Brasosky. Then with six seconds remaining, a Maschke one-timer gave PC a powerplay goal and 3-0 lead, assisted by Justin Hayward and Will Anderson.
The Huskies got on the board on a second period powerplay goal officially credited to Blake Sorge, helped by Braden Falk and Owen Hobson. The Mustangs would go back ahead by three before the break as Ryan Jaros went coast-to-coast for an unassisted goal, putting the score at 4-1.
Nine of the games 14 goals would come in an odd third period. PN got back within two early on as Falk scored a powerplay goal with assists to Nolan McCarthy and Daniel Wester. With 10:08 remaining, Maschke completed the hat-trick with an unassisted goal to push the advantage back to three. That lasted 11 seconds as Sorge struck alone to put the tally at 5-3.
Soon after, Portage Northern was guilty of two checks from behind in the same sequence, leading to concurrent major penalties. The Mustangs made them pay as they scored four goals during the five minutes of five-on-three. Maschke had his fourth and Sorenson scored his second, along with tallies by Will Anderson and Tyler Stolsky.
PN would get two back in the final five minutes on Falk’s second goal (shorthanded) and a four-on-four goal by Nick Jepson, but the damage was already done.
The Huskies fall to 3-4-1 with the defeat and 0-3 within the SCHSHL South Division. Portage Northern plays a league crossover up next at Cap City Friday.
Portage Central improves to 3-4 on the victory and 2-1 within the division. The Mustangs also have a crossover next with a trip to Jackson Friday to play Lumen Christi.