The Carillon - ONLINE EDITION
By: Terry Frey
Posted: 02/19/2019 9:10 AM
With the largest crowd of the season on hand and Winnipeg Jets star goaltender Connor Hellebuyck in town to drop the puck for the the Steinbach Pistons Louis Riel Day matinee match-up against the Winkler Flyers, capped off by a thrilling 3-2 overtime victory by the Pistons, it was quite the day at the old barn Monday afternoon.
It was a welcome victory for the Pistons and their faithful, this coming after a pair of narrow 2-1 defeats Friday and Saturday at Dauphin, which had snapped Steinbach's seven-game winning streak.
The last three games of that seven-game streak, were all comeback victories for the Pistons, and all in extra time.
Well, it was the same scenario Monday in Steinbach, on Louis Riel's Day, as Easton Bennett scored the winning goal with only 17 seconds remaining in the five-minute overtime period.
That dramatic goal capped off a game that had the seen the Pistons trailing since the opening seconds of the game. With the crowd still buzzing from the appearance of Hellebuyck, Winkler's Everett Bestland beat Matt Radomsky with the game's first goal just 40 seconds after the opening face-off.
The score remained 1-0 until Josh Kagan staked the Flyers to a 2-0 lead midway through the second.
Then the Pistons started their comeback, with their goals coming from the unlikeliest of sources. Defenceman Caydin Cleland, with his first of the season, narrowed the gap to 2-1 with seven minutes remaining. Then with only two minutes left in regulation, defenceman Declan Graham, with only his second of the season, tied it with a powerplay marker to send the game into overtime.
Steinbach outshot Winkler 39-25 in the contest, which drew more than 1,200 spectators.
With four games remaining in the regular season, the Pistons will likely finish in third place in the final MJHL standings. Steinbach is now 38-15-3-0, just two points back of the second place Swan Valley Stampeders, but the Stampeders have three games in hand on the Pistons.
Coming up this weekend the Pistons have a pair of games on the road with games Friday at Selkirk and Saturday at Waywayseecappo.
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