It took over 90 minutes of hockey to find a winner of game 2 between the Steinbach Pistons and Portage Terriers but just 43 seconds into the third overtime period, Portage scored to even the best of 7 series 1-1.
Steinbach got the all-important first goal as Braden Purtill wheeled out from behind the net and fired home a wrister from the top of the circle. For Purtill, it’s his 5th of the playoffs and fourth goal in his past three games. Jordan Bochinski collected the lone assist on the goal.
Portage answered back, capitalizing on a couple of Pistons turnovers to take a 2-1 lead into the first intermission.
In the second period, the Terriers struck again to make it 3-1. The Pistons answered back quickly, just 30 seconds later, in fact. Good pressure down low from Danny Pion worked the puck free to Tyson McConnell who walked out from behind the net and snapped home a wrist shot to cut the lead to 3-2. It was McConnell’s first goal of the playoffs.
The Pistons started to find their game, but despite having some good scoring chances, went into the intermission down by a goal.
In the third, good work from Mack Graham kept the puck in at the offensive blue line, and he filtered it down low to Bochinski. Bochinski fired a pass to a streaking Will Koop who tipped it up and over the Portage goalie to tie the game 3-3, midway through the final period of overtime. Koop has goals in back to back games and three overall in the playoffs.
The horn sounded, and for the first time in these playoffs, the Pistons were off to overtime.
The MJHL’s overtime format is after the horn sounds signaling a tie, the first overtime period is 10:00 in length, played after a 2:00 break for both teams. If no winner has been decided, there will be a flood and continuous 20:00 overtime periods until a winner is found.
The first and second overtimes didn’t produce a winner but kept fans on both sides on the edge of their seats.
In the third overtime, Portage scored to even up the series 1-1.
Steinbach out-shot the Terriers 42-41. Roman Bengert had a very strong night finishing with 37 saves. The power play went 0-4 but hit 3 posts, while the penalty kill was a perfect 3-3, including a big kill in overtime.
It’s now a best of 5 series heading back to Steinbach for game 3 on Wednesday night. The game will be broadcast on Mix 96 and SteinbachOnline.com with the pre-game show at 7:15 pm and puck drop at 7:30 PM.