By Carter Brooks
Photo courtesy of the Portage Terriers
Portage Terriers' defenceman Owen Murray had had himself a big week of hockey, at a time in which his team needed him the most.
The Terriers have now tied up the Manitoba Junior Hockey League's championship series at three-games-apiece with the first-time Turnbull Cup finalists Swan Valley Stampeders, thanks to a dominant 5-2 victory in Swan Valley Thursday evening. Rookie blueliner Owen Murray once again contributed greatly, scoring Portage's first goal of the game.
Coming up clutch is nothing new for the 16-year-old, Decker, MB. product. After putting up 18 goals and 44 points in 35 games in his second season of AAA Bantam with the Yellowhead Chiefs, Murray moved on to The Rink Hockey Academy, where he skated in 36 Canadian Sport School Hockey League games, registering four goals and 16 points.
He cracked the Terriers in 2018-19, and completed his rookie season with nine goals, 41 points and 59 penalty minutes, finishing first in defensive scoring on the team, and fourth in scoring by defencemen in the league, trailing just Riley Shamray, Tristin Cross and Troy Williams. Murray's efforts did not go unnoticed, as the first-year player was awarded the 2018-19 Rookie of the Year, as well as being named to the All-Rookie team.
So far, the 5-foot-10, 170-pound defender has two goals, seven points and 29 penalty minutes for the Terriers through 14 postseason games. After picking up two assists in each of games three and four against the Stampeders, Murray has continued his hot streak, registering another helper in game five, on top of scoring the game's opening goal in game six. His Terriers will look to finish off the Stampeders Monday night in Portage. Puck drop is set for 7:30 PM central.