Playing their first game at the TG Smith Centre in 11 days, the Steinbach Pistons couldn’t overcome the Stampeders, and at times themselves, as Swan Valley won 4-2 over the home side in Game #3 Wednesday night.
The Stampeders have taken a 2-1 series lead in the best-of-7 MJHL semifinal series.
Merek Pipes made 26 saves in goal for Swan as he picked up the win in goal for the Stampeders. Matt Radomsky stopped 35 of 39 shots in the loss.
The Stampeders jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first period. Josh Tripp scored his first goal of the series 5:53 to give Swan a 1-0 lead on a power play. Tucker Scantlebury doubled the Stampeders lead to 2-0 with his fifth of the postseason almost four minutes later.
The Pistons charged back with a flurry, but a common theme in this game was the Pistons taking a penalty at an inopportune time. Troy Williams took a double-minor penalty late in the first, and Kasyn Kruse scored his sixth of the playoffs with 1:46 left in the opening frame on the power play to give the Stampeders a 3-0 lead heading into the first intermission.
Matt Osadick made it 4-0 Swan on a beauty, as he went between his legs to beat Radomsky at the 8:03 mark of the second period.
The Pistons came out swinging in the third period, as Nico Labossiere scored 21 seconds into the third period to put Steinbach on the board. Riley Vautour picked up the assist on Labossiere’s third of the playoffs.
It seemed as if the Stampeders had qwelled the Pistons momentum, but Brendan Martin got it a bit closer for the Pistons as he beat Pipes to the blocker side to make it 4-2 with 9:34 left in the third. Caydin Cleland had the helper on Martin’s fourth of the playoffs.
After the Stampeders took a too many men penalty, Steinbach was in prime position for a comeback. But Tanner Mole took a crucial roughing penalty away from the play that effectively ended the Pistons’ chances for the night.
As the minutes and seconds ticked down, the Pistons self-destructed and sent man after man to the box. The Stampeders finished the game on a two-man advantage, and skated away with a 4-2 win.
GRAHAM MAKES HIS RETURN
The Pistons got an upgrade on the back end, as defenceman Declan Graham made his return to the lineup tonight after missing the last nine games with an upper body injury.
The Pistons didn’t get enough power play time, and spent too much of the game in the box. Swan Valley went 2 for 12 on the man advantage, while Steinbach was 0 of 2.
UP NEXT: The white out continues tomorrow night for Game #4 at the TG Smith Centre at 7:30 pm.
We need everyone out there to wear white and cheer on your Pistons as they look to tie the series and send it back to Swan 2-2!