Baron Thompson scored the game-winning goal with 3:57 left in the second period as the Dauphin Kings defeated the Steinbach Pistons 3-2 Friday night at the TG Smith Centre.
Levi Mitchell returned to the net for the first time in three games for Dauphin and made 25 saves in the win for the Kings. Matt Lenz stopped 20 of 23 shots in the loss for the Pistons.
Steinbach was the better team through the first 15 minutes of play, outshooting the Kings early 10-4 and got three power play chances in the period. The Pistons couldn’t cash in on them while Dauphin would strike twice late in the frame, once on the power play and once shorthanded.
While on a rush on the man advantage, Austin Lamotte finished off a nice pass from Grady Hobbs to give the road team a 1-0 lead with 4:44 left. With 40 seconds left in the opening stanza, Avery Smith caught Steinbach napping in their own zone, picking off a breakout pass and would beat Lenz over his glove hand for a 2-0 Dauphin lead.
The Kings were all over Steinbach in the second period when the Pistons had the puck, as the home team couldn’t get anything going in the frame. Dauphin would go up by three thanks to Thompson, who took a pass on a 3-on-2 rush and beat Lenz five-hole.
Steinbach would get a goal back with 48 seconds left, as Codey Behun snuck one over the line in a net-mouth scramble. The call was originally ruled no-goal but after a long conference between the referees, linesman, and eventually the goal judge, the call was reversed. Behun would nab his 21st of the season on the play from Tanner Mole and Rylan Bettens.
But the Pistons would fail to capitalize on that momentum swinging goal, as Dauphin once again played well in their own zone and didn’t give Steinbach many good looks.
Lenz was pulled for the extra attacker and the Pistons would get to within one with 19 seconds left as Zach Purcell put a loose puck home at the side of the goal. Dylan Cassie and Ryan Butler would pick up the assists, but it wasn’t enough as the Kings would skate away with the two points and a 3-2 win.
RIEMER RETURNS TO THE LINEUP
The Pistons welcomed back defenceman Christian Riemer to the lineup after he missed the past two months due to injury. He played on a pairing with Curtis Ireland in this game.
The Pistons went 0 for 4 on the power play while the Kings went 1 for 2.
UP NEXT: Steinbach will have the chance to quickly put this disappointing loss behind them tomorrow night as they welcome the Virden Oil Capitals to the TG Smith Centre, with puck drop scheduled for 7:30 pm. Get your tickets for that game online at Steinbachpistons.ca/tickets.