The Carman Beavers stumbled in their opening match of the South Eastern Manitoba Hockey League 2018-19 Regular Season and let a 2-0 second-period lead disappear against the Portage Islanders Thursday night.
The home crowd push helped fuel the Beavers in the first, and after a solid period of pressure, 18/19 captain Aaron Lewadniuk got the opening goal of the season. It was a power play marker with Mark Owen picking up the assist on the play. Beaver Jake Dudar lit the lamp again a couple of minutes later to close out the scoring in the frame. Dudar’s goal was an unassisted marker.
The Islander pushback was strong enough to take the lead in the middle 20 minutes. Portage’s Rene Hunter and Adam Blight had the game tied up seven minutes into the period. Derrick Brooks found the back of the net with just over 3 minutes left to overtake the Beavers. Carman had a couple of opportunities on the power play but couldn’t get one by Islanders’ rookie goalie Riley Sveistrup.
The Beavers had a golden opportunity to tie the game up early in the third when Islanders’ player Shaq Houle took a hitting from behind penalty and was issued a five-minute major penalty. Again, though, the Beavers were stifled on the power play. Portage added to their lead shortly after killing off the major penalty to Houle when Derrick Brooks notched his second of the night. Fraser Mirrlees got the Beavers within one just 16 seconds later thanks to some quick passes from Jason Rose and Geoff Maloney, but the boys couldn’t convert the momentum into a tying goal and ended up falling 4-3.
It wasn’t the busiest night for both goaltenders as Carman’s Steve Christie allowed four goals on 18 shots faced. Sveistrup made 19 saves for the Islanders’ victory.
Carman’s next match SEMHL match is Saturday, November 10, when the Beavers welcome the vagabond Winkler Royals, who are without a home since a sudden and very unfortunate break down of the city’s ice plant. Game time is set for 7:30 p.m.
There are two other SEMHL games this weekend. Winkler was supposed to host the Altona Maroons Sunday, but instead will be travelling to Altona for an 8 p.m. matchup. The Morden Redskins welcome the Portage Islanders Sunday as well at 4 p.m.