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Codey Behun and the Pistons celebrating their third goal. (Photo courtesy: Dave Anthony)

Pistons Pick Up Point in OT Loss to Portage

Logan Christensen scored a power play winner on a rebound off the back boards to lift the Terriers past the Steinbach Pistons 4-3 in overtime.

The Pistons controlled the final stretch of the third period and were closing in on taking the lead, but a questionable interference penalty charged to captain Declan Graham with 25 seconds to go put the Terriers on the power play, which they capitalized on in the extra session.

Terriers starter Nathan Moore made 24 saves, stopping all shots in the second and third period to eventually pick up the win. Matt Lenz made his third start of the season for Steinbach and made 21 stops in the loss.

The Pistons’ point of emphasis for tonight’s game was to get off to a quick start, and they certainly did that. Kyle Bettens opened the scoring 1:09 into the game with a long wrist shot that got by Moore to put Steinbach up 1-0. Tucker Hodgson and Carter Loney picked up the assists on Bettens’ third goal in three games to start the regular season.

Steinbach would double their lead at the 5:30 mark, as good work in tight by Rylan Clemons left a rebound for Portage native Max Neill, and Neill shelved the puck for his second goal of the season.

The Terriers would get to within one just 1:25 later on a goal by Justin Giacomin. But Codey Behun capped off the Pistons’ first period onslaught with a backhander through the legs of Moore to make it 3-1 Steinbach. Ty Naaykens and Rylan Bettens picked up their first career point as Pistons on Behun’s 2nd of the season.

The Pistons outshot Portage 16-6 in the first period, but the script was flipped in the second as Portage was the better side in the middle frame. Special teams play was a common theme throughout the night, and it wasn’t a good theme for the Pistons. Joey Moffatt would once again bring the Terriers to within one on the power play with just over seven minutes remaining.

Portage would equalize in the final minutes of period 2 just after a power play expired, as a great pass by Sam Huston set up a Christensen deflection out in front to knot the game at 3.

The third period was a defensive struggle in which neither team could gain an advantage. The Pistons gained the upper hand towards the back half of the frame, and were inches away from taking the lead when a Naaykens backhander just slid by the near right post. Steinbach was also inches away from losing the lead late on a Portage chance, but a great diving play by Codey Behun saved the game for Steinbach.

That led to the questionable Graham interference penalty with 25 seconds remaining. It looked as if both he and a Portage forward just had an inadvertent collision at the Pistons blue line, but the officials saw otherwise and sent the Steinbach captain to the box.

Portage would take advantage in overtime, as Christensen banged home a loose puck that ricocheted off the back wall from an Owen Murray point shot with just seconds away from the power play expiring to send the home fans happy with a win.

SPECIAL TEAMS

The Terriers went 2 for 4 with the man advantage, while the Pistons went 0 for 3. Steinbach still does not have a power play marker in 11 opportunities through three games.

UP NEXT: The Pistons will head to Virden Saturday night to face the Oil Capitals at Tundra Oil and Gas Place, with puck drop scheduled for 7:30 pm. Catch that game live on HockeyTV.