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Shorthanded Pistons Eke Out Win In Portage

Matt Lenz held down the fort with 31 saves, and Zach Purcell had a goal and an assist as the Steinbach Pistons came away with a 2-1 win over the Portage Terriers Friday night.

Codey Behun notched the game-winning goal in the second period against Portage starter Cole Johnston, who made 19 saves and is handed his first loss of the season.

Coming off of a 3-2 shootout loss Wednesday at home against Neepawa, the Pistons were down another forward due to injury as Rylan Bettens didn’t suit up for Steinbach in this game. Because of this, the Pistons dressed only 10 forwards and 7 defencemen.

But Steinbach came out grinding away and got the first goal of the game halfway through the first period. Purcell fired a shot that hit the goalie, which then bounced off of a skate and caromed into the goal. David Queree picked up the lone helper on Purcell’s 3rd of the season.

The Pistons would grab a 2-0 lead four and a half minutes into the second period as Purcell dropped a pass back to Behun, who unleashed a laser wrister from the right wing that beat Johnston clean to the blocker side. Evan Kaufman nabbed the second assist on Behun’s 6th goal of the season.

Portage would cut the lead in half almost two minutes later on the power play as Logan Christensen buried a loose puck in front.

Steinbach would get four power play opportunities in the second and third period to try and extend the lead back up to two but couldn’t get one past Johnston.

With just over two minutes remaining Dylan Cassie would be sent to the box and the Pistons were under the gun as Portage pulled Johnston to make it a 6-on-4 advantage for the home side. But Lenz and the Pistons defence stood tall, including a huge save with his right pad with 28 seconds left on Joey Moffatt to keep Steinbach on top.

The Pistons would clear the puck down the ice and skate away with two points and a 2-1 win.

SPECIAL TEAMS

The Pistons went 0 for 7 with the man advantage, while the Terriers went 1 for 4 on the powerplay.

UP NEXT: The Pistons will enjoy a full week off of games before they get back at it next Friday against the Dauphin Kings. REMINDER: That game is a makeup game from October 12th when the game was postponed due to the winter storm. If you purchased tickets for that game, they will be redeemable at the ticket gate next Friday and you can gain access to watch the game. Otherwise, catch the game live on HockeyTV with the game starting at 7:30 pm.