The Carillon - ONLINE EDITION
By: Terry Frey
Posted: 04/15/2018 8:11 AM
The Steinbach Pistons turned in a spirited 5-3 victory over the Virden Oil Capitals Saturday night in Steinbach to narrow the Capitals lead to 2-1 in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League championship series.
Tied 3-3 after two periods in this physical, penalty-filled affair, Daniel McKitrick scored the winning goal just a minute into the final period, and Drew Worrard made it 5-3 a couple of minutes later as a massive crowd of close to 1,400 roared their approval. That is the largest crowd for a Pistons game since their championship season in 2013.
Steinbach led 2-1 after the first on goals by Tristen Culleton and Bradley Schoonbaert, sandwiched around a Justin Lee marker for the Caps.
Schoonbaert scored again early in the second to give the Pistons a big 3-1 lead in what amounted to a near must-win situation for the Pistons, not wanting to go down 3-0 in the series.
But the Capitals battled back as they tied it before the period was over on goals by Graeme Hore and Kirklan Lycar.
The line of Schoonbaert, Worrad and Austin Heidemann were deadly on the night as they had eight points in the game. Schoonbaert had two goals and an assist, Worrad a goal and two helpers and Heidemann two assists, and was also thwarted on a penalty shot attempt by Riley McVeigh midway through the first.
Virden actually outshot the Pistons 37-29 but Matthew Thiessen was outstanding in net for the Pistons making 34 saves.
Game four in the series will be played Monday night in Virden at 7:30 p.m. and then game five back in Steinbach on Thursday, also at 7:30 p.m.
There was a moving tribute to the Humboldt Broncos before last night's game as those 16 members of that organization that lost their lives in a bus accident one week ago continue to be remembered and mourned.
Meanwhile, the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League also resumed their playoffs last night as the Estevan Bruins defeated the Nipawin 5-2 Hawks in the opening game of the finals.
The winner of these two respective MJHL and SJHL final series will square off in the Anavert Cup, for the right to compete in the RBC national Junior 'A' championship next month at Chilliwack, B.C.
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