The Carillon - ONLINE EDITION
By: Terry Frey
Posted: 05/15/2018 6:52 AM
If last night's game against the Wellington Dukes was considered a near must-win situation for the Steinbach Pistons, they are now headed into that dreaded must-win scenario for their final two round robin games at the RBC Cup in Chilliwack.
The Pistons squandered a two-goal lead only to lose 3-2 in overtime to the Dukes in the lone game of the day at the RBC Cup. Ted McGeen beat Matt Radomsky for the winner just 59 seconds into the overtime period.
With all five teams having played two games in this national tournament, exactly halfway through the round robin, the Pistons find themselves in last place in the standings and in a difficult situation if they are to play in Saturday's semis.
Three points are awarded for a regulation time win, two for an overtime win and a single point for an overtime loss, which is what the Pistons garnered out of last night's game. Wenatchee leads the standings with five points, while Wellington, Ottawa and Chilliwack all have three.
The Pistons lost their opening game of the tournament on Sunday, 4-3 to the Wenatchee Wings, a game in which they also had an early two-goal lead. Amazingly, all five games in the tournament have been one-goal games, four of them decided in overtime.
Scoreless in the first, the speedy Riese Gaber, seeing his first action since being injured in game two of the ANAVET Cup series against the Nipawin Hawks, staked the Pistons to a 1-0 lead three minutes into the second period. Then midway through the period, Darby Gula scored on the powerplay to make it 2-0 Steinbach.
But the turning point of the game came just two minutes after the Gula goal, when Bryce Yetman scored shorthanded for the Dukes to make it 2-1. The Pistons were just coming off a two-man advantage and were pressing to take a 3-0 lead, when the tables were suddently turned.
In the final minute of the second period, Pistons' netminder Matthew Thiessen was injured in what has been described as a lower body injury as Matt Radomsky stepped in for the balance of the game. Thiessen's status is not known at this writing.
Mitch Mendoca scored the tying goal for the Dukes with eight minutes remaining in regulation.
Pistons' head coach Paul Dyck said, "We have to put 60 mintues together. We've had spurts where we have played extremely well and we've had leads in both games. The shorthanded goal was costly and they gained a lot of momentum from that, and I think we were on our heels most of time after that."
The Pistons do not play today but will return to action Wednesday night to face Ottawa and then will complete their round robin Thursday night against Chilliwack, with those games at 9:00 p.m. Central.
Two games on Tuesday will have Ottawa facing Wenatchee in the afternoon game and Chilliwack vs. Wellington in the evening.
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