The Steinbach Pistons fell to the Battlefords North Stars by a score of 3-1 Tuesday evening which would knock them out of contention in the 2023 Centennial Cup.
The Pistons got two powerplays before the 5-minute mark of the first period. Steinbach could not generate much as the North Star’s penalty kill would clog up the Pistons entries and smother their attacks.
At the 7:09 mark of the first period, the North Stars would get a powerplay goal. The Pistons would struggle to get the puck out of their zone with Jake Southgate keeping the puck in at the line and getting it down low to Steven Kesslering who would sneak it through Wasik’s five hole to make it 1-0.
Just before the midway point of the first period the Pistons would have a massive mountain to climb. Travis Hensrud would be assessed a 5-minute major and a game misconduct for boarding, kicking him out for the remainder of the game. The Pistons were able to buckle down and managed to kill off the full 5-minutes without giving up a goal.
The second period would continue to have its fair share of penalties, with both teams being sent to the box two separate times. Neither team would be able to find a goal in the second period and the score would remain 1-0 for Battlefords heading into the second intermission.
Steinbach would tie the game up early in the third period to make it 1-1. Langley Kruggel cycled the puck at the point to Noah Szabo who then put a floater on net that looked completely harmless, but it fooled North Star’s goaltender Josh Kotai and snuck between his arm and into the net.
The Pistons almost took the lead, but Kotai robbed the Pistons on back-to-back chances. Steinbach made a nice passing play to find Ty Paisley open on the doorstep but a sprawled out Kotai made the pad save. Dawson Milliken quickly stick lifted the North Stars player and fired the puck on net but Kotai managed to turn the puck away and keep the game tied 1-1.
With just over three minutes remaining in the third period the North Stars would restore the one goal lead. Holden Doell got the puck to Kian Bell who slipped the puck through the five hole of Dominik Wasik to make it 2-1.
Battlefords would go on to score an empty netter with just over a minute remaining to make it 3-1 and solidify the win.
With this loss the Pistons fell out of contention for the Centennial Cup and will not make the playoff rounds.