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Finals Preview: Pistons vs Terriers

Courtesy of Steinbachonline.com

Here we go again. For the second straight season, the top two teams in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League face off in the leagues finals starting on Friday night in Portage. Here’s how the two teams matched up throughout the regular season.

Steinbach Pistons (45-10-5) – 2nd – 95 points

Power Play – 27.5% – 1st

Penalty Kill – 81.2% – 6th

Goals For – 251 

Goals Against – 138

Goal Differential: 2nd @ +113 

Top 3 Scorers:

Daniel Taillefer – 22G 59A = 81pts

Cole Smith – 26G 35A = 61pts

Tyler Penner – 23G 35A = 58pts

Goalies:

Roman Bengert: 25-8 3SO GAA: 2.07 SV%: .926

Jeremy Wik: 20-7 1SO GAA: 2.27 SV%: .913

Portage Terriers (52-6-2) – 1st – 106 points

Power play – 24.5 – 3rd

Penalty kill – 88.8% – 1st

Goals For – 276

Goals Against – 123

Goal Differential: 1st @ +153

Top 3 Scorers: 

Brad Bowles – 45G 57A = 102pts

Adam Wowryk – 24G 41A = 65pts

Shawn Bowles – 19G 46A = 65pts

Goalie Stats: 

Nathan Park: 38-7 7SO GAA: 1.92 Sv% .922

Josh Bykowski: 10-0 1SO GAA 2.21 Sv% .918

Season Series Summary:

Wednesday October 14th – Portage wins 5-4

Game Summary: The first time the two teams met after last years MJHL finals and it didn’t disappoint. Both teams went back and forth and it was a goal by Nick Henry midway through the 3rd period that gave the Terriers the victory. Park (W) Bengert  (L)

Wednesday October 28th – Terriers edge Pistons in shootout win 2-1

Game Summary: It was a scoreless game till less then two minutes remained and it was Portage breaking the tie but Jordan Bochinski answered back just 30 seconds later. Steinbach had a chance to continue the shootout but failed to score on the 7th shot attempt. Park (W) Bengert (SOL)

Wednesday November 25th – Pistons win 3-1 at home

Game Summary: Tyler Penner scored a pair of goals in the first period and added an assist leading the Pistons to the win. Chase Brakel scored for the Terriers while Cole Smith had a goal and two assists. Bengert (W) Park (L)

Saturday January 2nd – Terriers defend home ice in 5-3 victory.

Game Summary: Portage took a 3-0 lead heading into the final period of play but the Pistons thundered back and made a game of it, scoring a goal with less then a minute left in regulation to pull to within one, Portage would clamp down and the horn would sound giving Portage the victory. Bykowski (W) Bengert (L)

Sunday January 3rd – Steinbach down’s Portage in 4-3 shootout win

Game Summary: Steinbach again needed a third period comeback to even things up and with goals from Darby Gula and Mack Graham, the Pistons pushed it into a shootout where Jordan Bochinski scored the winner on the 8th’s attempt for Steinbach. Cody Haiskanen had a pair of assists for Portage. Wik(W) Park (SOL

Friday February 19th – In Portage, Terriers win 4-3 in another shootout

Game Summary: Another close contest at regulation and overtime solved nothing. The breakaway challenge wen’t the way of the Terriers as Bykowski stopped all three Pistons shooters. Bykowski (W) Wik (SOL)

Terriers: Winners of 28 game straight and a second consecutive season finishing a top the MJHL standings, the Terriers are again a power house. They’ve swept the first two rounds of the playoffs knocking off the Selkirk Steelers and the Winnipeg Blues respectively. Led again by the MJHL top scorer Brad Bowles, the Terriers pose a challenge in all areas of the ice with a physical team that can score. Defensemen Brett Orr and Dean Stewart are anchors on the back end rarely getting caught out of position while Nathan Park is one of the top goalies in the MJHL. 

Pistons: After sweeping the Swan Valley Stampeders, the Pistons had a hard fought series against the Winkler Flyers. Although they had to play more games then the Terriers, the Pistons view it as a positive as several younger players now know the sacrifice it takes to win in the post season. Tyler Penner and Cole Smith have been on fire and were key in the victories over the Flyers. On the blue line, Connor Martin, Anthony Kapelke and Ryan Carlson have really stepped their games up while Roman Bengert is playing the best he has all season long.