Article Courtesy of Terry Frey from TheCarillon.com
The quest for a Manitoba Junior Hockey League championship by the Steinbach Pistons has hit a major road block called the Portage Terriers.
Steinbach lost 4-3 in Portage Friday night as the Terriers, the two-time defending champions, have opened up a commanding 3-1 semi-final lead on the pennant-winning and favoured Pistons.
The Terriers, fifth place finishers during the season, have been relentless in the post-season as they seek their third straight MJHL crown.
In last night’s game, the Pistons twice led the game as Wyatt Hinson opened the scoring four minutes into the first before Ty Barnstable tied it for the Terriers late in the first on the powerplay.
Danny Pion gave the Pistons the lead early in the second but the Terriers responded on goals by Scott Mickoski and another powerplay marker by Barnstable as the Terriers led 3-2 after 40 minutes.
Ryan Sokoloski made it 4-2 Portage six minutes into the third and then Will Koop scored for the Pistons with a minute and half a left and the Pistons then pressed for the equalizer but just couldn’t tie the game in the dying seconds like Portage did one game earlier.
The Pistons outshot the Terriers 29-28 in the contest as Roman Bengert took the loss in net for the Pistons.
Now, with their backs against the wall, the Pistons must win three straight elimination games in the coming days if they are to advance to the MJHL finals against the OCN Blizzard.
Game five in the series will be played Sunday at 7:30 p.m. in Steinbach with game six back in Portage on Tuesday and the deciding game Wednesday at Steinbach. Not impossible, but clearly the Pistons face their biggest challenge of the season, beginning Sunday night.