A statement win

The Beavers celebrates with goaltender Steve Christie after taking down the first place Portage Islanders. Carman is now one point back of first place with a game in hand. (Aaron Wilgosh/Postmedia)

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The Carman Beavers have been on a tear in the South Eastern Manitoba Hockey League and thanks to Sunday’s 6-3 victory over the top-ranked Portage Islanders the team is closing in on the first place club.

The boys didn’t waste any time getting on the Islanders. The hot start led to an early goal from Beavers captain Aaron Lewadniuk who potted his ninth goal of the SEMHL season. Brock Vanderveen and Jason Rose also scored for the Beavers in a one-sided opening period for the Beavers.

Portage found their legs in the second and scored early into the middle frame to cut the Beavers lead to 3-1. The teams traded chances through the second until Chad Millar scored to regain Carman’s three-goal lead. The Islanders would add another a few minutes later to end the scoring in the second.

The third period started off fast, much like the second, and the Islanders were the first to find the back of the net to climb within one to make it 4-3. Beavers leading scorer Jake Dudar shut the Islanders momentum down with goal number 17 of the season. Geoff Maloney scored an empty-netter with four minutes left on the clock to make it 6-3.

Steve Christie played stellar in net for Carman stopping 36 of 39 shots he faced through 60 minutes. He took a couple of crashes near the end of the game which drew a few large crowds around his crease. The Beavers/Islanders rivalry is heating up at the right time as the two teams will battle for the top spot heading into the SEMHL playoffs.

The Beavers are in second place one point back of Portage (11-4-1) who has 23 points. Warren is in third place right behind Carman and will visit the Beavers Tuesday night. That game gets going at 8 p.m. at the Carman Arena.