The Steinbach Pistons capped off their 2016-17 regular season in style Saturday night in Steinbach with a 3-2 overtime victory over the OCN Blizzard.
With a franchise record 99 points this season, the first place Pistons dominated the Manitoba Junior Hockey League’s regular season this year with a record of 49-10-1, 14 points ahead of the second place Winkler Flyers.
It was a dramatic finish for the Pistons in last night’s game. With the Blizzard leading 2-1 late in the game, Braden Purtill scored the tying goal for the Pistons with just 22 seconds remaining in regulation.
Then it was defenceman Darby Gula, the outstanding local product who hails from Steinbach, that notched the winner at 2:35 of overtime. Jordan Bochinski also scored for the Pistons on the powerplay in the second.
It was a tremendous goaltending duel between Brett Epp of the Blizzard and Roman Bengert of the Pistons as Bengert made 34 saves and Epp made 35 stops at the other end.
The Pistons will now take on either the Neepawa Natives or Swan Valley Stampeders in the first round of the playoffs, beginning Friday night at Steinbach. The Natives and Stampeders are currently tied for eighth place and will square off in a massive showdown in the final game of the season tonight at 6:30 p.m. at Neepawa with the final playoff berth at stake.
Picture Courtesy of Adeline Loewen Photography