Mikol Sartor had two goals and an assist as the Winnipeg Blues scored all of their goals in the first period in a 4-1 win over the Steinbach Pistons at the TG Smith Centre on Saturday night.
The Pistons now lead the best-of-7 3-2 with Winnipeg avoiding elimination in Games 4 and 5. Jeremy Link made 29 saves in the win, while Matt Radomsky stopped 34 of 38 Blues shots in the loss.
Steinbach lost the game in the first period, as Winnipeg outshot the Pistons 20-6 to start the game. James Maxwell opened the scoring for the Blues 5:45 into the game, as he beat Radomsky out in front to make it 1-0 for the visitors.
Sartor quickly made it 2-0 as he snapped a shot to the far blocker side that ticket the twine just nine seconds after the Maxwell goal.
The rookie forward from Winnipeg got his second of the game with 2:03 to go in the first period, as he beat the Pistons goaltender with a hard shot just outside of the ringette line to make it 3-0 Blues. And to cap it all off, Sulivan Shortreed notched his third of the playoffs on a blocker side shot with 9.9 seconds on the clock to give Winnipeg an insurmountable 4-0 advantage after the first.
Steinbach clawed back in the shot category in the second, outshooting the Blues 14-4. Boedey Vaeth trickled a shot towards Jeremy Link, however the shot went underneath and just missed the post.
Tanner Mole had a chance to get Steinbach on the board with a breakaway chance, but was turned away by the pad of Link.
With the Blues locking down their own zone, it took a turnover on the power play to send Steinbach away with their best chance of the game. Troy Beauchemin beat Link to end the shutout bid with a beauty backhander up top with 5:59 to go to make it 4-1 Winnipeg.
There was some rough stuff towards the end, as Troy Williams and Kelton Sutherland dropped the gloves and gave the TG Smith crowd something to cheer about at the end. But the Blues ended up coming away with a big Game #5 win to give themselves at least one more home game on Monday.
BENNETT DROPS BACK
With only five available defenceman, Head Coach Paul Dyck dropped forward Easton Bennett to play defence in the absence of both Declan Graham and Doug Johnson. Bennett played with Troy Williams for most of the night.
Both teams did not score a power play goal, but the Pistons notched the first shorthanded goal of the series with the Beauchemin breakaway goal.
UP NEXT: Game #6 goes Monday night at the BellMTS Iceplex. Puck drops at 7:00 pm, catch the game live on HockeyTV, or tune in on your radios to MIX 96 and Steinbachonline.com. Come on out to Winnipeg on Monday to join the Pistons community, and let’s take over the Iceplex!