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Hayden Lacquette was one of the key pieces in a blockbuster trade that happened on January 10, 2021.

As the Dauphin Kings acquired Logan Calder from the Portage Terriers, Lacquette alongside Slade Stanick was traded to the Terriers. Just days after the trade on January 14, Lacquette made his Terriers debut in a 2-1 loss against Neepawa.

Hayden then scored his first goal with the Terriers the following night and he chipped in with one assist in a 6-1 win. From that point on, Lacquette was a regular contributor on the scoresheet as he finished the campaign with three goals and 14 assists in just 22 games. It was the first time in a long time; however, that Portage was ousted from the playoffs as their off-season began much earlier than what fans in Portage expect.

After a very productive summer in the gym, Hayden returned to Portage this year and finished the regular season by averaging a point per game with 15 goals and 39 assists. Hayden was named Star of the Week on multiple occasions this season and he was tied for third in team scoring. Playing on the back end, Lacquette has incredible hands and has been known to easily maneuver his way around a defender.

Lacquette says it was a great feeling playing with one of the most storied franchises in league history.

"It was a great season in Portage," said Lacquette. "It was exciting and I put up some pretty good numbers which is always nice."

Hayden helped Portage finish atop the MGEU East Division and overall league standings and the Terriers then quickly dispatched Niverville in five games in the first round of the Turnbull Cup Playoffs.

Flu Bug:

The Terriers then got off to a great start against Virden as they won the first two games of the semi-final series. Despite winning those first two games, Portage was nowhere near healthy as several members of the team were playing sick.

That is what happens in the playoffs, players play hurt and players play sick. It's certainly not an excuse, but the Terriers' sickness certainly did not come at a good time and Virden ultimately downed Portage in seven games to send Portage packing and Virden advanced to the league final, where they came up short against Steinbach.

Second Chance:

Losing to Virden in the second round was without a doubt a setback for Portage as they entered the playoffs as the top-ranked club and they had championship aspirations, but that was not the case. However, because they played host to Hockey Canada's Centennial Cup, the Terriers would be playing in the event regardless of if they won the MJHL or not. 

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So Hayden was set to play in his first Centennial Cup as Portage was paired with Steinbach, Battlefords, Collingwood, and Kam River. Portage finished the round robin with three wins and they then beat Yarmouth in the quarter-finals. With a berth in the national final on the line, Portage came out flat and was downed by Battlefords as a result, 7-1. Despite the exit, it was still a season that Lacquette will never forget.

"It was my first-ever chance to play in a Centennial Cup and it was very special," said Lacquette. "You don't usually get that opportunity, it was so amazing."

Hayden has one year of eligibility left and the 2023-24 season is shaping up to be his biggest yet. You can also expect to see plenty of Hayden on the ball diamonds this summer as he is one of the top pitchers in the fastball scene in the province.