The Steinbach Pistons fell to the Virden Oil Capitals Sunday evening by a score of 4-2, making the series now tied 1-1.
The Pistons got to work quickly as they opened the scoring just 42 seconds into the opening frame. Quinton Pepper took a shot from the high slot with Braden Birnie getting a piece of it putting Steinbach up 1-0.
Steinbach controlled much of the play in the first period with many good zone entries and scoring chances, but Bailey Monteith stood tall turning everything away.
Virden made sure not to go into the first intermission down as they tied the game 1-1 with under a minute left in the period. Nathan McInnis took a shot that trickled to Nathan Driver down low who put the puck into the open net.
The game was tied 1-1 after the first period of play with the shot totals 10-6 for Steinbach.
Virden took the lead just over 2-minutes into the second period as a miscommunication on the Pistons resulted in a defensive zone turnover. Tyler Thoendel picked up the puck at the blue line and got it down low to Braden Fischer who put it around Will Hambley.
That goal flicked a switch for Virden who then took complete control of the game. Virden applied relentless pressure and controlled much of the flow of play for the remainder of the period.
Virden went into the second intermission up 2-1 and was outshooting the Pistons 22-17.
Steinbach took a penalty early in the third and Virden capitalized on the opportunity as Braden Fischer got his second goal of the game on the powerplay, making it 3-1.
Steinbach would reply with a powerplay goal of their own 5-minutes later, making the game 3-2. Jackson Betcher cycled the puck to Zach Power who then made a beautiful back door feed to Braden Birnie, Birnie settled the puck and ripped it past a sprawled out Monteith bringing the game to within 1 goal.
Virden would silence the Pistons comeback as the puck squeaked past a Pistons defenceman as they pinched at the blueline resulting in Beau Larson getting a partial breakaway who then clapped the puck past Hambley making it 4-2.
Steinbach pulled their goalie with around 2-minutes remaining, trying to make a final push to tie the game. Steinbach had two great chances with a flurry in front of the net, but they could not jam the puck home as the Oil Capitals would hold on and win the game 4-2.
Steinbach heads on the road for games 3 and 4 this week on Wednesday and Thursday night as they hope to get back in the win column and take a series lead.