Pederson Photographic

Smith prepares for return to Portage

Mason Smith will return to Portage la Prairie on Wednesday evening as the Dauphin Kings look to get back in the win column against the Centennial-Cup hosting Terriers.

The 20-year-old played 25 games with Portage last year after he was acquired in a trade from the Estevan Bruins. During that time, Smith scored eight times and added four assists in the Green & White.

Now he’s with the Blue & White as he goes up against his former team for the second time, and first time at Stride Place. It’s Mason’s third time being back at Stride Place after he played in the MJHL Top Prospects Showcase earlier this season.

“I’m going to say it doesn’t add anything, but it does, I’m looking forward to being back there,” said Smith. “It’s going to add a little fire and it will add more to wanting to win that game.”

Wednesday’s game will also mark the first time that Smith and the rest of the team go up against Blake Boudreau. Boudreau played 20 games with Dauphin to start the season before he was dealt to Portage last Thursday in a deal that saw the Kings acquire, Jamie Valentino.

“That’s going to be a weird feeling, seeing him on the other side,” said Smith. “He was one of my best friends on the team and it was sad to see him go. With that said, I’m looking forward to playing against him.”

Dauphin will look to put a halt to their four-game losing streak on Wednesday. The team has not won since they beat Portage on November 22. Despite their recent struggles, Dauphin has shown that they can play with anyone in this league.

They have beaten the top teams in the West and they have beat the top teams in the East. Their challenge on Wednesday is the 20-5-1 Terriers who are currently in a tie for second in their division.

“It comes down to how we play, not how the other team plays,” said Smith. “When we’re playing well and rolling, I don’t think there is anyone that can stop us. It’s just about us getting back to that.”

Smith has chipped in seven goals this season while adding 13 assists. His most recent goal was a beautiful shot on Saturday against the Flyers.

While he was happy with his defensive effort over the weekend and finding the scoresheet, Smith knows he has more to give and at the end of the day, it’s all about the team.

“There’s more I could be doing, I need to add some more offence, I was on a bit of a slump before that goal,” said Smith. “I thought I was solid defensively over the weekend, but that’s something I still need to work on. I just want to do anything I can to help this team win games, that’s what it is all about.”

You can catch Mason’s return to Portage on Wednesday with puck drop set for 7:30. You can also listen on 730CKDM with Darnell Duff.