The Carillon - ONLINE EDITION
By: Terry Frey
Posted: 04/20/2018 6:18 AM
The Steinbach Pistons are on the verge of winning their second Manitoba Junior Hockey League championship following their inaugural title in the 2012-13 season.
Steinbach crushed the Virden Oil Capitals 7-1 Thursday night in Steinbach to take a 3-2 lead in the best of seven championship series.
The Pistons can win the the MJHL crown and the Turnbull Cup with a win in Virden Saturday night.
Many fans hadn't even settled into their seats last night at the T.G. Smith Centre when the Pistons erupted for two quick goals in the opening minute of play.
Drew Worrad scored the first goal just 37 seconds after the opening face-off and Braden Purtill made it 2-0 just 11 seconds later. Worrad scored again on a penalty shot seven minutes into the frame and the rout was on as the Pistons outshot the Caps 18-6 in the first period.
Virden briefly made it interesting when Kolten Kanaski scored a shorthanded marker early in the second when he beat Matthew Thiessen. It was Thiessen's only blemish on the day.
But the Pistons quickly responded with three more in the middle frame as Tyson McConnell, Austin Heidemann and Easton Bennett found the mark, chasing Virden starter Riley McVeigh from the game. Tanner Mole added Steinbach's seventh goal late in the third.
The Pistons dominated this game in every respect outshooting the Oil Capitals 42-22.
It was a testy affair, particularly in the third period as the Oil Capitals became unravelled, trying to set the tone for game six back in their rink.
Virden won the first two games of the series by narrow margins of 2-1 and 4-3, but the favoured Pistons have stormed back to win three straight by scores of 5-3, 4-0 and 7-1, and have been most impressive in the last two games outscoring the Caps 11-1.
Game time Saturday night in Virden is 7:30 p.m. If a seventh and deciding game is required, it will be played Monday at 7:30 p.m. in Steinbach.
The winner of this series will take on the SJHL champions in a best of seven Anavet Cup series for the right to compete in the RBC Cup national championship next month at Chilliwack, B.C. The Estevan Bruins and Nipawin Hawks are currently tied 2-2 in the SJHL finals.
The Portage Terriers won the Manitoba Junior Hockey League championship Monday night at home in the most of dramatic of fashions, beating the Swan Valley Stampeders 3-2 in overtime in the seventh and deciding game of the finals.
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