Codey Behun netted two goals, and had the shootout winner in the ninth round as the Winnipeg Blues came back from a 3-1 deficit to beat the Steinbach Pistons 4-3 Wednesday night.
The Pistons outshot the Blues 47-28 in the game, but Blues goaltender Jeremy Link kept the Blues in the game by making 44 saves in the win. Matt Radomsky got the start for the Pistons tonight, and he made 24 saves in the loss. The Pistons still picked up a point, extending their streak to 15 straight games with a point.
“We had the start we were looking for, and brought good energy into the game,” Pistons head coach Paul Dyck said after the game. “After that, our poor decisions with the puck led to added opportunities for them and they slowly gained momentum.”
The Pistons got the only goal of the first period, and it was a thing of beauty. Will Koop stopped on a rush, and fed an open Jack Johnson. Johnson deked around the Blues defender, tighly turned around a sprawling Link, and slid the puck into the open net for his 11th of the season near the halfway point of the period. Koop and Darby Gula picked up assists on the Johnson goal.
Behun tied it up for the Blues 2:54 into the second period from Nathan Hillis and Michael Ladyman. After that, the Pistons controlled the puck in the Blues zone for much of the second period. At one point, Steinbach had sustained pressure in the offensive end for 1:30. And it ended in a goal, as Riese Gaber potted home a rebound for his 25th of the season at 7:13. Johnson and Jack Lenchyshyn added the helpers on Gaber’s 10th goal in a Piston jersey.
After a Blues penalty expired, it was Austin Heidemann’s turn to slam a rebound home. His 21st of the season from Gaber and Mark Wilson at the 10:10 mark of the second period made it 3-1 for Steinbach. However the Blues hung around, as a Nick Cicek point shot on the PP deflected off Brady Castellano and past Radomsky to make it 3-2 after 40 minutes of play.
“We had two power plays that followed where we could have given ourselves a little more breathing room, but we were not able to capitalize,” Dyck said. “Their goalie (Link) was outstanding tonight, and ultimately was the difference in the game.
The Blues continued their momentum by ratcheting up the pressure in the third, and they tied it up on the PP, as Behun snapped one past the glove of Radomsky at 9:23. The assists went Joel MacGillvary and Hillis. The Pistons survived the period to pick up the extra point, killing off two late penalties to do so.
After overtime solved nothing, Behun won it for the Blues in the 9th round to help his team pick up the extra point.
JOHNSON THE BEST PLAYER ON THE ICE
Although the Pistons did not get the result they were looking for, Jack Johnson was the best player on the ice for both sides, playing with Will Koop and Riese Gaber. “He was outstanding tonight, creating chances nearly every time he was on the ice,” Dyck agreed. “Jack has the ability to be a difference maker each night, and he has been learning how to bring the same focus and energy on a nightly basis. It’s great to see that.”
Drew Worrad left the game late in the third period, and did not return to the game.
The Pistons went 0 for 6 on the power play, while the Blues went 1 for 4 on their man advantages.
UP NEXT: The Pistons finish their home portion of the regular season schedule with a three-game homestand. It begins on Friday night when they take on the Swan Valley Stampeders at the TG Smith Centre. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30 pm, you can get your tickets at Steinbachpistons.ca.