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The Carillon - ONLINE EDITION

Pistons bounce back to beat Natives

By: Terry Frey

Posted: 03/19/2017 9:40 AM

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Mackenzie Graham (#9) scored the winning goal in the third period last night in Steinbach as the Pistons edged the Neepawa Natives to take a 3-2 lead in their quarter-final series.

TERRY FREY/ THE CARILLON Enlarge Image

Mackenzie Graham (#9) scored the winning goal in the third period last night in Steinbach as the Pistons edged the Neepawa Natives to take a 3-2 lead in their quarter-final series.

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Doing exactly what they needed to do, the Steinbach Pistons bounced back to defeat the Neepawa Natives 2-1 Saturday night in Steinbach to take an important 3-2 lead in their Manitoba Junior Hockey League quarter-final series.

Neepawa had the tied series 2-1 with a 5-1 victory over the favoured Pistons Friday night in Neepawa.

Mackenzie Graham scored the winning goal seven minutes into the third period.

Scoreless after the first, Neepawa jumped into a 1-0 lead midway through the second on a goal by Jordan Martin. Bradley Schoonbaert tied it for the Pistons with three minutes remaining in the middle frame, much to the relief of the more than 1,100 onlookers  on hand at the T.G. Smith last night.

Graham and Schoonbaert, two of the leading scorers in the league this season, each had a goal and an assist on the night.

Roman Bengert picked up the win in net for the Pistons as he stopped 23 of the 24 shots he faced while Tyler Gutenberg made 30 stops for the Natives as the Pistons outshot the Natives 32-24.

Steinbach can wrap up the best of seven series with a game six victory Monday night in Neepawa. That game goes at 7:30 p.m. at the Yellowhead Centre.

Should a seventh and deciding game be required, it would be played Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. in Steinbach.

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