The Winnipeg Blues accomplished Sunday what many onlookers may have touted as 'impossible', in defeating the three-time defending Manitoba Junior Hockey League champion Portage Terriers in just six games.
Less than two minutes into overtime of game six, Blues' forward Nathan Hillis collected a loose puck in the neutral zone, before walking into the Terriers' end, splitting the defence, and burying a wrist shot - breaking the 2-2 tie, and propelling the Blues to the second round of the MJHL playoffs in the same instant.
The goal - which was Hillis' first point of the playoffs - couldn't have come at a better time for the Blues, who will move on to face the Steinbach Pistons in the semi finals, beginning Friday, March 23rd.
After sweeping their opening round series with Swan Valley 4-0, the Pistons - who entered the MJHL playoffs as the number one ranked team with a season record of 48-8-4 - should be a huge test to Winnipeg's lone playoff representative.
An interesting offensive matchup featuring two of the league's leading scorers will certainly be in store, as Winnipeg's Dexter Kuczek (37 goals, 92 points) will square off against Bradley Schoonbaert (36 goals, 91 points).
The Pistons won five of six regular season contests against the Blues in the 2017-18 season, with Winnipeg's lone victory coming in the extra frame.
The Virden Oil Capitals will do battle with the Winkler Flyers in the other semi final matchup, also getting underway Friday from Virden.
Both series' will feature 7:30 P.M. start times on March 23rd, 25th, 27th, 29th and 31st for games one through five, while scheduling differences then arise for games six and seven (if necessary).
Stay tuned for all MJHL playoff updates available right here at gameonmag.ca
By Carter Brooks
Image provided by MJHL