(Photo: Matthew Murnaghan/Hockey Canada)

Dream Season comes to an end for Pistons

By: Brighton Thiessen

The regular season began way back on September 22, 2017. It’s been 237 days of playing hockey for the 2017-18 Steinbach Pistons, and it came to an end on May 17 with an first-ever RBC Cup appearance.

The Pistons, who still had a shot to make the semi-final with a win, ran out of gas in their final round robin game losing 4-1 to the Chilliwack Chiefs. Matt Radomsky was sensational in this one, making 37 saves to give his team a chance.

Both teams came out with a defensive focus in this one, but the Chiefs scored two late goals in the first. Corey Andonovski wristed one from the slot past Radomsky after a Pistons turnover with 2:44 to go. And Ryan Bowen set up his brother Ethan with a beauty cross-ice pass with 1:33 left, and the younger sibling tapped it in to put the Chiefs up by 2.

The Chiefs expanded their lead on the power play on a goal by Kaden Pickering with just over 13 minutes to go in the third period. Drew Worrad got a power play goal of his own on a 5-on-3 chance, as he went end-to-end and snapped a shot past the blocker of Mathieu Caron to make it 3-1 with 10:37 left.

But Harrison Blaisdell effectively ended the game for the Chiefs, when he scored with 3:15 to go.

For Head Coach and General Manager Paul Dyck, the end to the season was bittersweet. “It’s the greatest year in the history of our franchise,” he said. “The guys have a lot to be proud of, and we’re certainly proud of them as a staff. They’ve accomplished a tremendous amount this year, both on and off the ice.”

Steinbach showed at times why they deserved to be one of the top 5 teams in Canada, but for Dyck it was disappointing that his team could not sustain a high level of play throughout the tournament. “It’s so difficult to get to this event,” he said. “The unfortunate part is that no one got to see our team at the level we were capable of. Obviously, the competition is strong here, but we showed at times that we could play (with the competition). We just weren’t able to sustain it.”

But the focus after the game was the greatest season yet for the Pistons before their 10th anniversary season in over 3 months from now. “It was a special year,” coach Dyck echoed. “It’s going to be a tough (season) to cap, but I think right now for everybody it’s time to just revel in what’s just taken place and enjoy the memories that were created this year.”

The Pistons would like to congratulate their 20 year olds in Braden Purtill, Bradley Schoonbaert, Daniel McKitrick, Drew Worrad, Luke Bellerose, Mark Wilson, and Mark Taraschuk on tremendous junior careers, and for donning the blue and white.

UP NEXT: The Pistons Jersey Auction closes on Monday, May 21st at 4:00 pm, so get your final bids in before that time. You can also join us for our annual year-end awards banquet dinner on Tuesday, May 22 at the Frantz at 5:30 pm. The event cost $20, so come on out to commemorate the greatest season in Pistons history!