Gerrik Ripley scored the shootout winner in the fifth round as the Waywayseecappo Wolverines came back to beat the Steinbach Pistons 4-3 in extra time.
It’s been a familiar theme lately with Steinbach, who got off to a great start once again but couldn’t sustain it through the entirety of the game. Colin Ahern picked up the win for Wayway, stopping 25 of 28 shots in 65 minutes and 4 of 5 Pistons shooters. Thomson Phinney played well for Steinbach in his first start in blue and white stopping 32 of 35 shots, but will take the loss in goal.
1:56 into the game is when the Pistons first grabbed the lead. Rylan Bettens jammed the puck past Ahern from the right faceoff dot for a 1-0 lead, with Codey Behun picking up the helper on Bettens’ 13th on the campaign.
Just over two minutes after Steinbach’s first of the game the road team would double their lead. Lucas Fry’s point shot was caught momentarily by the Wolverine goalie, but the puck squirted out of the webbing and right onto the tape of a red-hot Zach Purcell. The Aurora, Colorado native ripped the loose disc into the back of the net for a 2-0 advantage, with Fry getting his first MJHL point on the play.
The Wolverines clawed back into the game on a power play goal by Rayman Bassi with 5:11 left in the first period and it was 2-1 for Steinbach after 20 minutes.
The middle frame was controlled by the home side as they outshot the Pistons 13-7. But Phinney came up big in the second to maintain Steinbach’s 2-1 lead into the second intermission.
That one-goal lead would disappear 52 seconds into the third period on a Kris Bladen wrister through the five-hole of Phinney to tie it up for Wayway.
Steinbach would start to put some good shifts together after the tying goal, and would retake the lead off of a Wayway turnover. Tucker Hodgson fed Purcell on the rush and the forward would cut from left to right and wire the puck past Ahern’s blocker to give Steinbach a 3-2 lead with 5:11 left. Hodgson nabbed the lone helper on Purcell’s team-high 17th goal of the season.
Waywayseecappo responded 31 seconds after the Steinbach goal as Alex Lucken’s point shot from the blueline beat everyone and it was 3-3.
Steinbach controlled the puck for the majority of overtime but were never able to muster a quality chance.
Wolverine forward Jaymes Knee started off the shootout by scoring, but Codey Behun responded with his fourth goal in his fourth attempt this season to tie things up in the second round. Things stayed knotted until the fifth round where Gerrik Ripley beat Phinney, and Carter Loney was unable to keep the game alive for the Pistons as Waywayseecappo walked away with the extra point.
KEY NUMBER: 14 – That’s how many times the Pistons have gone to extra time this season, which is a franchise record. Steinbach has a record of 9-5 this season when going past 60 minutes, including both overtime and shootouts.
Steinbach went 0 for 2 with the man advantage while the Wolverines went 1 for 4.
UP NEXT: The Pistons head to Swan River for the first time tomorrow for a 6:00 pm matchup with the Stampeders. You can watch that game live on HockeyTV or listen on the radio to MIX 96.7 FM and Steinbachonline.com.