Defenceman Brady Morrison scored the winner in the 7th round of the shootout as the Neepawa Natives ended the Pistons’ four-game win streak with a 3-2 win at the TG Smith.
The Pistons came back from down a goal twice in the final period but ultimately couldn’t seal the deal in extra time. Natives netminder Ethan Peterson stopped 34 of 36 Steinbach shots as well as 6 of 7 shooters to pick up the win. Nik Anderson made his second start of the season and had an outstanding 28 save performance, but will be saddled with the loss.
Steinbach got their chances early in the first period with two power plays but the team couldn’t capitalize. The Natives started to come on strong late in the opening frame and picked up a late 5-on-3 PP chance, but two amazing saves by Anderson on the kill kept Neepawa from going out in front.
The road side would carry their momentum into the second period and got on the board first early, as Parker Malchuk beat a screened Anderson at the 2:12 mark to give the Natives a 1-0 lead.
Kyle Bettens would extend his seven-game point streak to eight as he snapped a wrist shot past Peterson to tie the game five minutes into the third period. Carter Loney and Ty Naaykens picked up the assists on Bettens’ 5th goal of the season.
The Natives caught a lucky break shortly after the Bettens goal, as Neepawa appeared to go offside on a rush. Steinbach appeared to stop for a second as the officials didn’t blow the whistle, allowing leading scorer Eli Lieffers to feed Jaeger Lapointe cross-ice for his 2nd goal of the season to give the road side a 2-1 lead.
Bettens would take matters into his own hands, intercepting a breakout pass halfway through the third and beating Peterson on a deke to the backhand for his second of the night to tie things up at 2.
The Pistons would have to kill off a power play in overtime and things would not be solved through the extra session. Both goalies stood tall in the first five rounds before both Jaeger Lapointe and Ty Naaykens would score in the sixth round to keep things going. Morrison would put the pressure on Steinbach as his shot was mostly stopped by Anderson, but the puck rolled in behind the Steinbach goaltender.
Max Neill was stopped by the Natives goaltender as Neepawa poured off the visitors bench to congratulate each other on a 3-2 shootout win.
The Pistons were 0 for 4 on the man advantage while the Natives finished 0 for 3.
UP NEXT: The Pistons head to Portage la Prairie Friday night for a matchup with the Terriers. Catch the action live on HockeyTV with puck drop scheduled for 7:30 pm, or listen on your radio to MIX 96 and Steinbachonline.com with Dave Anthony on the call starting at 7:15 pm.