The Carillon - ONLINE EDITION
By: Terry Frey
Posted: 04/17/2018 7:16 AM
Falling behind 2-0 in the MJHL finals with a pair of one-goal losses, the Steinbach Pistons got back into the series with a 5-3 victory at home in game three on Saturday and then made a major statement with a decisive 4-0 victory Monday night at Virden to even the series at 2-2.
It was arguably the most complete game for these favoured Pistons in this post-season, especially considering the circumstances, not wanting to go down 3-1 in the series.
Of course Matthew Thiessen was a significant story last night in Virden as he posted the shutout making 23 saves. It was Thiessen's fourth shutout of the playoffs in 12 games. There have been only two other in shutouts in these MJHL playoffs. Picking up where he left off from the regular season, Thiessen leads with a 1.70 goals against average and .940 save percentage.
The Pistons took a 1-0 lead in the first last night on a Mark Taraschuk powerplay goal, his fifth of the post-season as Taraschuk continues to lead this team from the blueline. That goal was set by Darby Gula and Brendan Martin, who was inserted back into the line-up following an injury to Will Koop Saturday in Steinbach.
Darby Gula, who was the highest scoring defenceman in the league during the regular season, scored his his first goal of the playoffs just 14 seconds into the second period and Austin Heidemann later made it 3-0. Brady Tatro scored Steinbach's fourth goal in the third. Steinbach outshot the Oil Capitals 33-23.
Gula, Taraschuk and Heidemann each had a goal and an assist on the night.
Game five in the series comes back to Steinbach Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at the T.G. Smith Centre and then game six goes Saturday at 7:30 p.m. in Virden.
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 face the SJHL champions in a best of seven Anavet Cup series, with that winner advancing to the RBC Cup national champioship next month at Chilliwack, B.C.
Nipawin and Estevan split the first two games of the series on the weekend at Nipawin as the SJHL resumed play following the Humboldt Broncos tragedy. Games two and three of that series will be played Tuesday and Wednesday at Estevan.
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