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The Carillon - ONLINE EDITION

Pistons blown out, season hangs by a thread

By: Terry Frey

Posted: 03/29/2019 7:46 AM

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Swan Valley goaltender Merek Pipes reaches for the puck in a third period scramble Thursday night in Steinbach as the visiting Stampeders beat the Pistons 6-3 to take a 3-1 lead in the semi-final series.

TERRY FREY/ THE CARILLON Enlarge Image

Swan Valley goaltender Merek Pipes reaches for the puck in a third period scramble Thursday night in Steinbach as the visiting Stampeders beat the Pistons 6-3 to take a 3-1 lead in the semi-final series.

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We're not going to sugar coat this, it was an ugly one at T.G. Smith last night.

The defending Manitoba Junior Hockey League champion Steinach Pistons are staring elimination in the face following their lacklustre 6-3 defeat at the hands of the Swan Valley Stampeders Thursday night in Steinbach.

Swan Valley leads the best of seven semi-final series 3-1 and can punch their ticket to the finals against the Portage Terriers with a win over the Pistons as game five in the series goes Saturday night at Swan River.

Much like the previous night, where the Stampeders romped to a 4-0 lead before the Pistons finally came to life, eventually losing 4-2, it was another slow start for the Pistons in last night's game.

Swan Valley scored the lone goal of the first as Bradly Goethals opened the scoring midway through the frame, a period the Stampeders outshot the Pistons 21-10.

The Stampeders took a 4-1 lead into the final frame, extending that lead to 6-2 in the third before the final buzzer finally went in a 6-3 final.

Jack Kilroy, Kyle Bettens and Declan Graham were the Steinbach goal scorers. Josh Tripp led the Stampeders with a pair of goals while Matthew Osadick, Tucker Scantlebury and Alexander Uryga completed the Swan Valley scoring.

The Pistons again took too many penalties as three of the Swan Valley goals were scored on the powerplay. The Stampeders outshot the Pistons 48-30 on the night.

So, to summarize, the Pistons played well in the opening two games of the series last weekend at Swan River, each taking a 3-2 victory.

But when the series shifted back to Steinbach this week it was all Swan Valley as they outscored the Pistons 10-5 in the two games, outshooting them 87-58.

We always look for the silver lining. In this series, the Pistons clearly played better in the two games in  Swan River. Well, now they have a golden opportunity to get to back form Saturday at Swan River. Win that game, bring it back to Steinbach for game six on Monday and somehow get this series to the seventh and deciding game. Tall order? Yes. Impossible? No.

Meanwhile, the Terriers completed the four-game sweep of the Virden Oil Capitals, beating the Caps 5-2 last night in Virden and now await the winner of the Swan Valley - Steinbach series.

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