Article Courtesy of Kenton Dyck from Steinbachonline.com – Picture taken by Adeline Loewen Photography
The Steinbach Pistons scored four unanswered goals in the second period and defeated the Neepawa Natives 5-2 on Tuesday night, to grab a 2-1 series lead in the best of 7 opening round.
Riley Bruce got the scoring started in the first period for the Pistons with his first of the post-season as a wrist shot handcuffed the Neepawa goalie and made it 1-0 Steinbach. Will Koop picked up the lone assist on the opening marker. Neepawa answered back with a short-handed goal to tie the game 1-1 after 20 minutes of play.
The Pistons stepped on the gas in the second period and exploded for 4 goals in the period. The scoring parade started on the power play as Tyler Anderson roofed a shot from the point to make it 2-1. Mack Graham had the assist off a perfectly won face-off.
Local product Landon Plett scored just minutes later to push the lead to 3-1 with Ryan Carlson and Tyler Anderson picking up the assists.
The Pistons would convert again on the power play as Koop tipped home a point shot from Bradley Schoonbaert for his first of the playoffs and the lead swelled to 4-1, Mack Graham collected his second assist of the night. Schoonbaert capped off the scoring output as he ripped on off the post and in to make it 5-1. Koop notched his 3rd point of the night, while Darby Gula also picked up a helper.
The Natives changed goalies to start the third period.
Neepawa scored a power play goal in the third period to cut the lead to 5-2, but that’s as close as they would get as the final horn rang out and the hometown fans went home happy.
The Pistons finished the night 2-7 on the power play while they displayed another strong penalty kill finishing 5-6. The shots on goal were heavily in favor of the Pistons 48-15. Roman Bengert wasn’t overly tested but was strong again in the victory.
With the win, Steinbach leads the series heading back to Neepawa on Friday night.