Mccullough Park scored with 8 seconds left in overtime, as the Dauphin Kings defeated the Steinbach Pistons 4-3 to end their 10 game win streak.
Brennan Kitchen was rock solid in the Kings net, stopping 52 of 55 Piston shots in the win. Matthew Thiessen made 28 saves in the loss.
Playing on back-to-back nights for the first time in two weeks, the Pistons fell behind early as Thomas Hansell scored a power play marker five minutes in. Wilson Northey picked up the lone assist on Hansell’s 13th of the season. With under 2:30 to go, the Kings went up 2-0 as Bradyn Smelski notched his 2nd of the season from Park and Northey.
The Pistons outshot the Kings 12-8 in the first, but as defenceman Mark Taraschuk noted, the Kings were the better team in the first. “We didn’t have a good start. They got on us early, and we were playing catch-up the whole night,” he explained. “They’re a team that’s hungry that has pride to play for, and we didn’t have any sort of push-back.”
Riese Gaber was the most noticeable Piston on the ice tonight, and for good reason. He was playing against his former team for the first time, and he got the Pistons on the board early in the second, with assists to Jack Johnson and Mark Taraschuk on Gaber’s 22nd of the year. Almost 100 seconds later, Steinbach equalized as Daniel McKitrick fired one past Kitchen short-side. The Dauphin goalie was caught cheating off of the post, and McKitrick scored on the small window. It was also his 22nd goal of the season from Brendan Martin and Tyson McConnell at 3:50.
But just before the second frame ended, the Kings grabbed the lead again as Mccullough Park threw a centering pass behind the net to Northey. Northey made no mistake, burying his second of the night past Thiessen for a 3-2 lead after 40 minutes left.
The Pistons tied the game short-handed, as Easton Bennett stripped a Dauphin defender, went in on a break-away and deked five-hole to snap it past the glove of Kitchen for his 11th of the season.
The Pistons poured on the pressure late, but Kitchen and the Kings defense stood tall late to send it into overtime. And in the extra frame, Will Koop was stripped by Park, who went in on a break-away and beat Thiessen five-hole to win it.
“We have a couple days to regroup here,” Taraschuk pointed out while looking ahead to the Pistons’ next game against the Stampeders. “Swan’s a desperate team, they’re going to be hungry Friday night. We have to have a good week of practice, and I think we just have to get back to playing simple and working hard. We just have to play Piston hockey.”
The Pistons went 0 for 3 on the power play, and the Kings went 1 for 4.
UP NEXT: The Pistons will be on the road this next weekend, with games on Friday against Swan Valley before a rematch with Dauphin on Saturday night. Steinbach is back in action on Louis Riel Day, February 19th, against the Winkler Flyers in a matinee game. Puck drop for Friday night is schedule for 2:30 pm.