The Carillon - ONLINE EDITION
By: Terry Frey
Posted: 04/28/2018 7:52 AM
The Steinbach Pistons suffered a disappointing 4-3 loss to the Nipawin Hawks Friday night in Steinbach in the opening game of the ANAVET Cup, the showdown between the top two teams in the MJHL and SJHL.
Brandon Arnold shouldered the victory for the visiting Hawks, scoring three goals including the winner with only 1:04 remaining in the third.
But it was a tentative opening period that saw the Pistons fall behind 3-1 is what ultimately cost them the game.
Arnold stunned the Pistons and quickly silenced an anticipatory crowd whenr he beat Matthew Thissen with the game's opening goal just 1:17 after the opening face-off. Arnold then made it 2-0 with four minutes left in the frame.
But the Pistons got back into it when Drew Worrad, continuing from where he left off in being named the MVP of the MJHL playoffs, scored with 1:23 left in the opening period to narrow the Nipawin lead to 2-1. But then suddenly, while the Pistons' faithful were still roaring their approval of the Worrad goal, Nipawin struck again and it came just eight seconds later as Carter Doersken scored, set up by none other Brandon Arnold.
The Pistons took control in the second period, tying the game on goals by Austin Heidemann three minutes in and then Bradley Schoonbaert midway through the period as the Pistons' top line scored all three goals. Worrad and Schoonbaert each had a goal and an assist in the game.
Steinbach outshot Nipawin 23-12 through the final two periods, but just couldn't get that go ahead marker past Declan Hobbs in the third. Final shots were 32-25 for the Pistons.
Game two in the best-of-seven series is back at the T.G. Smith Centre tonight, with the puck drop at 7:30 p.m.
The series then shifts to Nipawin for games three, four and five next week, returning to Steinbach for games six and seven, if necessary, May 7 & 8.
The winner of this series advances to the RBC Cup National Junior 'A' Championship, May 12-20 at Chilliwack, B.C.
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