The Carillon - ONLINE EDITION
By: Terry Frey
Posted: 12/13/2018 7:40 AM
In a classic defensive battle the top two teams in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League last season, the Virden Oil Capitals edged the defending champion Steinbach Pistons 2-1 in overtime Wednesday night at the Seven Oaks Rec Centre in the final game of the three-day MJHL Showcase.
Scoreless through two periods in a goaltending duo between the Pistons' Matt Lenz and Riley Wallace of the Caps, Virden finally took a 1-0 midway lead with eight minutes remaining in the third on a goal by defenceman Tristen Cross.
Immediately after the Cross go ahead goal the Pistons were forced to kill three minor penalties. But then, late in the game, with the Pistons on a powerplay of their own, Brendan Martin, the Pistons leading scorer, tied the game with his 22nd of the season with only 1:53 remaining in regulation.
Tristen Cross, the hero of the game for the Oil Capitals, wasted little little in the extra period, scoring his second goal of the game 44 seconds into overtime. The Pistons outshot the Oil Capials 29-24. That snapped Steinbach's five-game winning streak.
The Pistons will take the point, it was an important one, as it improves their third place record to 21-9-2-0, five points back of the second place Swan Valley Stampeders.
That's where the Pistons are headed this weekend, for a big two-game series against the Stampeders at Swan River as the two teams will face off Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 4:00 p.m.
Meanwhile Lenz, the rookie puckstopper for the Pistons continues to get all the work in net these days as the veteran Matt Radomsky is toiling for Team Canada West at the World Junior 'A' Challenge in Alberta. Yesterday against Russia, Radomsky stopped all 16 shots he faced coming on in relief of starter Matt Davis. Russia won 3-0.
Radomsky leads the MJHL with a 2.11 goals against average, while Lenz, now 6-1-2 on the season, is second overall with a 2.24 GAA.
It's starting to get a little dicey for the Steinbach Pistons.
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