Portage Terrier’s newly acquired player Rylee Zimmer potted the winner in the middle of the second period as they used a four goal second period to defeat the Steinbach Pistons 6-3 Wednesday night at the TG Smith Centre.
Terriers leading scorer Jeremey Leipsic led the way with 3 points for the Terriers, who move to 7-4 on the season. The Pistons record dropped to 8-3 with tonight’s result.
“Right from the get go, we really had no execution in regards to our game plan right from the beginning,” said head coach Paul Dyck. “We didn’t win a lot of battles, and as a result we got what we deserved tonight.”
The Pistons talked about not competing from the drop of the puck, and it cost them in the beginning. “Our compete level was minimal tonight,” said captain Braden Purtill. “We’re going to lose those games when we don’t compete.”
Portage opened the scoring when James McIsaac scored on the power play midway through the first period. Purtill quickly equalized for the Pistons by notching his 10th of the season.
But the wheels fell off after that, as the Terriers proceeded to get the next five goals to put the game away. The emotions boiled over for both teams as expected when two rivals meet, as both teams took a multitude of penalties in the latter two periods.
“We’re a tight-knit group in here,” Purtill said on the emotions of the game. “It’s good to see that, and we needed a bit more (of that).”
Defensemen Darby Gula and Declan Graham both scored their 2nd goals of the season in the third period as late counters for the Pistons. Matthew Thiessen made 19 saves in two periods, and Matt Radomsky came in for the third periods and registered 9 saves. Terrier goalie Brock Aiken stopped 29 Piston shots in the victory.
New Pistons forward Brendan Martin suited up for his first game as a member of the white and blue, and he was solid in defeat registering an assist on the Graham goal.
“I thought Brendan played well,” said Dyck. “As he gets more comfortable, he’s going to be a good player for us. But it was a tough first game in terms of the environment today.”
The Pistons get back on the ice tomorrow for practice as they get ready to face the Swan Valley Stampeders on Friday.
The Terriers were efficient on the power play going 2 for 6 on the night, while the Pistons countered by going 1 for 6.