The Steinbach Pistons clinched the first round in a come from behind victory that saw them beat the Selkirk Steelers 4-3.
Steinbach opened the scoring early in the first with a powerplay goal. Zach Power made a pass down low below the net to Quinton Pepper who then made a beautiful back door feed to Braden Birnie who put in the one timer.
With Selkirk’s season on the line, the game was a fast-paced game with a lot of desperation in it. Both teams finished lots of their checks and sacrificed the body to block shots.
Steinbach went into the first intermission up 1-0 with the shot totals 10-8 in favour of the Pistons.
The second period had a completely different feel to it with Selkirk taking control of the game and capitalizing on their scoring chances.
Lucas Brennan got the Steelers on the board with a powerplay goal at the 11:50 mark of the second period making the game 1-1.
Selkirk took the lead 5-minutes later with a net scramble and a flurry in front of Will Hambley with Mathieu Catellier getting the goal.
Sheldin Howard extended the Steelers lead to 3-1 just over a minute later off a great cross crease pass from Dante Ballarin, putting the puck over Will Hambley’s glove.
Selkirk went into the second period with a 3-1 lead with the shot totals tied at 21.
Steinbach had their work cut out for them in the third period and they delivered. Davis Fry got the comeback started, making the game 3-2 at the 2:50 mark of the period. Fry made a nice net drive and tried to make a cross crease pass to Ty Paisley but put it off a Selkirk defenceman’s skate and in the net.
Zach Power tied the game up 3-3 exactly half away through the period on a nice give and go with Braden Birnie and putting it top right corner over Hunter Tarves’ glove.
Alex Frank on Selkirk took a slashing penalty with a minute and half left in the third sending Steinbach to the powerplay.
Zac Patrick cycled the puck to Zach Power down low who then got the puck to Braden Birnie in the slot who put it glove side and put the Pistons up 4-3 with 54 seconds left in the game.
Steinbach took a late penalty with 15 seconds left in the game making it a 6 on 4 with Selkirk’s goalie pulled. Selkirk had one last chance with a scramble in front of the net in the dying seconds but Steinbach held on for the 4-3 series clinching win.