It could have been a preview of the opening round of the MJHL playoffs for the Steinbach Pistons as they fell to the Neepawa Natives 3-1 on Wednesday night.
The Pistons sit in first place and await to see who will finish in the 8th spot. Currently, it’s a tie between the Natives and the Swan Valley Stampeders (who lost in in overtime to the Portage Terriers on Wednesday night.)
After playing 9 games in a row, Pistons starter Roman Bengert was given the night off as 16 year old Matthew Thiessen got his first ever MJHL start. In the opening period, the Pistons struck on the power play when Jordan Bochinski converted for his 19th of the year from Braden Purtill and Joseph Leonidas.
Neepawa tied the game in the second period, also on a power play before jumping into the lead for good with a couple of third period goals.
Despite surrendering three goals, Thiessen played quite well finishing with 27 saves on the night. Steinbach had the edge in shots on goal 33-30. The power play finished 1-5 while the penalty kill was 6-7.
It was the Pistons last road game of the regular season. They have two games remaining, both at home, starting with a date with the Portage Terriers on Friday night, followed by a meeting with the OCN Blizzard on Saturday night.
Pistons head coach Paul Dyck and goalie Roman Bengert will be presented thier MJHL awards on Saturday night. Also, the players selected to their respective All-Star teams will be honored as well.
Ryan Carlson and Landon Plett both were not in the lineup on Wednesday night.
Steinbach’s Jack Lenchyshyn made his 5th appearance for the Pistons.