Article Courtesy of Kenton Dyck of Steinbachonline.com – Picture Courtesy of Adeline Loewen Photography.
The Steinbach Pistons got a goal mid-way through the third period and held on to the lead as they defeated the Neepawa Natives 2-1 at the TG Smith Centre on Saturday night, grabbing a 3-2 series lead in the process.
After a scoreless first period that saw Roman Bengert make several unbelieveable saves, the Natives scored on a two on one to make it 1-0 for the road team.
The Pistons answered back as a point shot from Mark Taraschuk rattled off both posts, but stayed out, before a scramble in front gave Bradley Schoonbaert the loose puck and he buried his second of the playoffs to tie the game 1-1.
It was a boost to the legs of the Pistons who had several more chances to end the period but the score remained deadlocked 1-1 after 40 minutes.
In the third, Mack Graham broke through the neutral zone, dished off a pass to Schoonbaert who fed the return pass to Graham, who roofed the shot high into the net, making it 2-1 Steinbach. For Graham, it was his first of the playoffs and a weight off his shoulders. “Yeah, I’ve been a bit snake bit.” the Toronto native said after the game. “The guys have been really good to me, it was nice to get one and get the win too.”
The Natives came hard down the stretch of the third but strong play from Bengert, a key block by Graham and a big faceoff win by Braden Purtill gave the Pistons the win and the crucial 3-2 series lead heading back to Neepawa for game 6.
The game will be broadcast on Mix 96 and SteinbachOnline.com with the pre-game show at 7:15 pm and puck drop at 7:30 pm.