Austin Heidemann tallied the winner late in the third as the Steinbach Pistons scored three third period goals in a thrilling come-from-behind 3-2 win against the Winnipeg Blues.
Heidemann seized his opportunity after being promoted to the top line with captain Braden Purtill and Bradley Schoonbaert after Head Coach Paul Dyck decided to shake things up after starting the third down by two.
The Pistons struggled through the first two periods, as the Blues kept the Steinbach forwards from gaining the middle of the ice. However, the Pistons came out flying in the third period, and it inspired the crowd of 928 at the T.G. Smith Centre.
The Blues got the first two goals of the game, as Levi Cudmore scored his 4th marker of the season midway through the 1st period.
Kelton Sutherland put the Blues up by two after defenseman Jaret Lalli missed a quality chance on the rush, and the big Blues forward got the puck past everyone and scored on a weak backhand goal that jumped over the right pad of Pistons goalie Matthew Thiessen.
Late in the second the Pistons thought they had shrunk the lead to one not once but twice. However, both goals were disallowed by the referees.
“We didn’t test their goalie in the first two periods” Heidemann said. “It was just getting out there and getting pucks to the net, and driving hard to the net and getting a greasy goal.”
The Pistons got a quick goal to start the third period as Drew Anderson roofed his first of the year from the right faceoff dot. And then Mark Taraschuk equalized on the only power play goal of the night, a one-time pass from partner Jack Johnson, to tie the game at two.
“It was good to get that second goal and get the crowd back in it,” Taraschuk said after the game. “Johnson came around the net with four guys behind his back, and I was wide open and I wasn’t going to miss that one.”
Heidemann scored the winner after great breakout passes from Schoonbaert and Purtill with about 6:30 in the game, and the Pistons locked down the Blues to finish the game.
Thiessen made his fourth start of the season and recorded 28 saves in the victory, while counterpart Jacob Gnidziejko stopped 27 shots in the loss.
Stats: Pistons were 1 for 6 on the power play, and were a perfect 5 for 5 on the penalty kill.
UP NEXT: These two teams get to see each other again on Saturday in the back end of a home and home series at the BellMTS Iceplex in Winnipeg.