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Riese Gaber of the Pistons handling the puck against a Wellington defender. Gaber was named Player of the Game. (Photo: Matthew Murnaghan/Hockey Canada)

Pistons lose heartbreaker in Overtime

Ted McGeen scored the winner 59 seconds into overtime, as the Wellington Dukes came back to defeat the Steinbach Pistons 3-2 on Day 3 of the 2018 RBC Cup.

McGeen came in on the right wing and snapped one over the shoulder of Matt Radomsky in the 4-on-4 extra session. The Dukes improved to 0-1-0-1 (W-OTW-L-OTL), while the Pistons picked up the single point in the loss (0-0-1-1).

Both teams ended up with 29 shots on goal, Jonah Capriotti stopped 27 shots in the win. Matthew Thiessen stopped 15 of 16 shots, and Radomsky made 11 saves in relief of Thiessen.

Head Coach Paul Dyck lamented the fact that the Pistons were up 2-0 once again, and took the foot off of the gas pedal that resulted in the other team picking up the points. “We’ve been in that spot for the last two nights in a row, and it’s not characteristic of our group,” he said. “I thought we got away from our game once again, and the turning point was the short-handed goal.”

There was no score in the first period, but a lot of good chances for Steinbach as they controlled the back half of the first period outshooting the Dukes 8-0 after the 10 minute mark.

Riese Gaber returned to the lineup after being injured in Game 2 of the ANAVET Cup, and he made his presence felt in this one. 2:51 into the second, Gaber got to work by taking the puck down below the net, wheeling out in front, and snapped a shot under the right arm of Capriotti and in for his first goal of the tournament.

The Dukes ran into penalty problems in the second, and the Pistons cashed their first power play goal of the RBC Cup as Drew Worrad fed a cross-ice pass to Darby Gula. Gula fired it past Capriotti at the 9:15 mark to give the Pistons a 2-0 lead.

Shortly after a quick 5-on-3 chance for Steinbach, the puck was turned over and Bryce Yetman was sprung on a breakaway. His first shot on Thiessen was stopped, but he banged home the rebound to cut the lead in half.

Late in the second period, Thiessen needed some attention in the Pistons net. He subsequently left the game, and did not return to action and was relieved by Radomsky.

The Dukes got a couple of power play chances in the middle portion of the third period, and they caught a lucky break as the puck hit a stanchion behind the goal on a point shot. The puck came right to Mitchell Mendonca in the slot, and he put the puck top-shelf to tie it up. Ben Evans and Frank Pucci had the helpers with 8:09 to go in the third.

The Pistons killed off two late penalties called against them late in the third, and the 4th game out of 5 in the RBC Cup so far needed OT. That led to McGeen’s winner, which left the Pistons heartbroken on the ice.

Dyck knows that his team is under the gun for the final two games for the preliminary round. “The fate is still in our hands,” he said defiantly. ” We still control our destiny here, and we gotta win a couple of hockey games. We’ve got to find a way to get some more jump and be consistent.”

PLAYERS OF THE GAME:

Dukes: Bryce Yetman (1 G)

Pistons: Riese Gaber (1 G)

UP NEXT: The Pistons have the day off tomorrow, before two huge games against the Ottawa Jr. Senators (Wednesday at 9:00 pm CDT), and the host Chilliwack Chiefs (Thursday at 9:00 pm CDT).