Picture Courtesy of Adeline Loewen Photography
The Pistons went into tonight’s matchup with the Neepawa Natives looking for their fourth consecutive victory. Steinbach goalie Matt Radomsky earned his fifth start of the season and was key to his team’s success over the sixty minutes of play. A fast-paced first period opened the floodgates as the Pistons would skate past the Natives to a 4-1 victory.
The Pistons ran riot on the Natives in the first period, putting up 14 shots and scoring three exceptional goals. These mid-period scores would all be within 70 seconds of each other setting a franchise record for the three fastest goals scored in team history. A record that had stood since the 2010-11 season.
Getting the party started was Brandon, Manitoba’s Bradley Schoonbaert, scoring his eleventh goal of the season at 10:32 in the 1st. His marker would be assisted by Tyler Anderson and Mackenzie Graham. Just thirty seconds later, Landon Plett made it 2-0 after a handful of nice passes to open up the defense. Rounding off the record-breaking goal flurry was Drew Anderson, who would put the third goal past Neepawa’s Evan Robert at 11:42 of the first period.
The three goals along with penning the Natives into their own zone for much of the first two periods took a significant amount of pressure off of Steinbach, and directly onto the shoulders of the Natives players. However, unlike the last couple opponents, Neepawa fought back, and Piston’s netminder Matt Radomsky had to make some fantastic saves, including two on the breakaway.
Steinbach captain Jordan Bochinski added a fourth midway through the second which would see the departure of Neepawa starter Evan Robert. Robert would end up facing 27 shots in 28 minutes and be credited for the loss in the contest.
The Neepawa goalie did keep the game interesting and made the saves he was supposed to. Unfortunately for him and his team, he didn’t get a ton of defensive help, and this led to the introduction of Jeremy Link.
The two Pistons goalies had not allowed a goal for a total of 184 minutes of game time including tonight. However, this streak was broken when Neepawa’s Jordan Martin scored at 3:48 in the third period. This shutout streak strung together by both Matt Radomsky and Roman Bengert was the longest in franchise history.
The game got increasingly physical in the third period after Martin’s fourth of the year. The unfortunate turn of events all started with a call by the referee on Piston’s Vaughn Dupre. Despite being one of the smallest guys on the ice at any given time, Dupre really got after the puck tonight. On the forecheck deep inside the Neepawa zone, Dupre got taken down, and in turn, the Natives player went to the ice. Referee Trevor Pulak made the call against Dupre for tripping, and the game quickly turned nasty.
After nearly every whistle there was pushing and shoving, however, tensions really escalated when Steinbach’s Tyler Anderson would deliver a high open ice hit on Neepawa’s Riley Vautour. Officials convened and sent Anderson off for a blow to the head penalty and a game misconduct. Despite the initial reactions, Vautour appeared to be alright, but this didn’t stop the Natives for taking an equally disgraceful shot on Will Koop late in the third period.
Despite the five minute powerplay the Natives received for Anderson’s penalty, they were unable to capitalize on their gift, and the Pistons saw the game out a man down.
The Pistons will face the Selkirk Steelers tomorrow, Thursday, November 10th at the Selkirk Recreational Complex. The puck drops at 7:30 pm. The game can be listened to live on Mix 96.7.