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Vaeth, Mole spark Pistons' comeback victory

By: Terry Frey

Posted: 03/9/2019 10:01 AM

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The old barn was rocking Friday night, and for good reason.

With Hometown Hockey in town for the Friday for the weekend, co-host Tara Slone dropped the puck to kick-off the 2019 playoffs for the defending MJHL champion Steinbach Pistons and the party was underway as the Pistons rallied to score a 4-3 come-from-behind victory over the Winnipeg Blues.

The Pistons, third place finishers in the loop this year, had their hands full with the Blues, who finished sixth overall, but came into the post-season as one of the hottest teams in the loop.

And in fact it was the Blues who took it to the Pistons in the early going, jumping in to a 2-0 lead by the midway point of the first period. But the Pistons slowly battled back, culiminating in the winning goal by Tanner Mole, his second of the game, with 6:45 remaining in the third.

After the Blues had taken that 2-0 lead, it was the speedy Boedey Vaeth, the Lorette product, that went to work for the Pistons as he made it 2-1 scoring just 39 seconds after Kelton Sutherland had scored the second goal for the Blues. Vaeth then scored again, tying it for the Pistons early in the second.

Tanner Mole, with his first, gave the Pistons their first lead in the game late in the middle period.  But Darren Gistin tied it for the Blues just 1:38 into the third, setting the stage for the winner later in the frame by Mole. Kyle Bettens picked up two assists in the game for the Pistons.

There were some tense moments late in the game as the Pistons' Easton Bennett was assessed a high-sticking penalty with 2:31 remaining, but Matt Radomsky and company held the fort to preserve the 4-3 victory.

The game featured two of the top netminders in the league squaring off and it was Radomsky who won the battle over Jeremy Link as the high-powered Blues outshot the Pistons 44-36 as Radomsky was superb in making 41 saves.

Game two in the series will be played Sunday at 6:30 p.m. at Bell MTS Iceplex with game three back in Steinbach Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.

The three other quarter-final series also kicked off last night as Portage defeated Waywayseecappo 4-1, with all five goals coming in the first period; Swan Valley outscored Dauphin 6-3, scoring five unanswered goals in the second; and in a marathon affair at Selkirk, the Virden Oil Capitals edged the Steelers 3-2 in triple overtime.

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