It was a good start to the last month of 2018 for the Steinbach Pistons, as they skated away with a hard earned 3-2 win over the Neepawa Natives.
For the second straight game, the Pistons got another quality effort from starter Matt Radomsky, as he made 25 saves for the win. Native goaltender Kolby Thornton was also impressive for Neepawa in the loss, stopping 34 of 37 Steinbach shots.
It was a sluggish start for the Pistons who played last night at home versus the Wolverines, and it was a good opening half for the visitors as Steinbach did not record their first shot until 7 minutes into the first.
The Pistons got the only goal in the period as call-up Logan Danis fed Brendan Martin, and Martin snapped it shortside for his 16thof the season to make it 1-0 with 4:21 left. Danis, a member of the RHA Nationals Midget Prep team, picked up his first MJHL assist in his first junior game of his career.
Mayhem broke loose in the TG Smith Centre 30 seconds into the second period, as Martin walked out from the corner on the power play and snapped home what appeared to be his second goal of the game. However, the ref did not signal a goal and play continued for another two minutes after that.
The officials conferred after the next stoppage in play, and the referee reversed the call and signaled a goal on the play. Upon replay, the puck was in and out off of in the inside of the top part of the net. The goal gives Martin 17 markers on the year, with Boedey Vaeth and Troy Williams picking up the assists at 2:27 and it was 2-0 Pistons. Time was not added on, so the goal was not officially counted as a power play goal.
The Natives pushed back after the goal and cut the lead in half as newcomer Eli Lieffers scored his first goal in Neepawa black and white from Brad Marshall at 5:06.
The Pistons brought the lead back up to two with under five to play in the second, as Curtis Ireland fired home his 2ndof the season on the power play for a 3-1 Steinbach lead. Boedey Vaeth and Tristan Culleton picked up the assists on the Ireland goal.
Steinbach came out and arguably played their best period of hockey in the third as they won every puck battle and did not allow many Neepawa chances. The Natives however would score halfway through the final frame, as Cam Olstad fired one past Radomsky on a 2-on-1 to cut the lead to 3-2. The Natives would pull Kolby Thornton and had a great chance on a set faceoff play, but Radomsky would make his best and most important save of the night to turn away Marshall and preserve a 3-2 victory.
JOHNSON MAKES HIS DEBUT
Newly acquired defenceman Doug Johnson made his Pistons debut, and made a big splash right away by taking an interference minor eight seconds into the game on a huge hit in the neutral zone. He was solid tonight for Head Coach Paul Dyck, playing tonight with Troy Williams. Johnson was acquired yesterday from the SJHL’s Flin Flon Bombers.
The Pistons were 1 for 5 on the power play, and killed off both penalties they faced.
UP NEXT: Steinbach will head to Winkler Tuesday night for the first game back at the Winkler Rec Complex since their ice plant malfunction took place a month ago. Catch that game starting at 7:30 pm on HockeyTV.