The Steinbach Pistons have lost control of their own destiny at the 2018 RBC Cup after falling to the Ottawa JR "A" Senators in overtime on Wednesday night, 5-4.
It was the same old story for Steinbach as they came out strong in the first period. Again, they scored the first goal as Brendan Martin took a pass from Braden Purtill and made a sweet move before tucking in the backhander to make it 1-0. Riese Gaber had the secondary assist on the goal.
It seems like all the bounces have gone against the Pistons so far in the RBC Cup and that bad luck continued as a harmless looking shot deflected off a defenders leg and past goalie Matt Radomsky to knot the game up 1-1 midway through the first period.
Finally, later in the period, something broke right for the Pistons when a good rush by Gaber produced a shot towards the net that deflected off of Purtill's skate and in to make it 2-1 Steinbach. Mark Wilson continued to rack up the points in the tournament as he added the secondary assist.
That lead would grow on the power play when a perfect pass from Bradley Schoonbaert hit Darby Gula who scored his second goal in as many games to make it a 3-1 lead for Steinbach. Drew Worrad picked up the bonus assist as the Pistons closed out a terrific first period leading by a pair of goals.
For a third consecutive game, the Steinbach Pistons couldn't hold on to the level of play that made them successful.
In the second, penalty trouble would catch up with Steinbach as they cut a steady path to the box. Compounding the problems, was the inability to clear the defensive zone over and over again, giving Ottawa second, third and fourth chances towards the net.
Eventually, the Sens did score to cut the lead to 3-2.
Steinbach was outshot 19-6 in the second period alone.
Even with the lopsided shots, the Pistons carried a one goal lead into the third.
That lead didn't last as Ottawa again capitalized on Steinbach's inability to relieve the pressure in their own zone and scored to tie up 3-3.
A power play for Steinbach gave the Pistons a bit of life midway through the third and they made the most of it.
Austin Heidemann tipped in a hard centering pass from Purtill to push the Pistons back out in front 4-3.
Again, that lead evaporated as confusion in the Steinbach end resulted in the game tying goal as a bang-bang play on the side of the net made it 4-4.
The Pistons needed Radomsky's best save of the night just to make it to overtime as a Sens player had a clear lane in the slot but was robbed by the glove of Radomsky with just over a minute remaining in regulation.
Steinbach headed to overtime for the second time in the tournament and again, fell just short as the penalty kill finally broke after being 6-6, a soft call in overtime gave the Sens the advantage and they took it, scoring to keep the Pistons winless.
Steinbach's record is now 0-1-2 at the RBC Cup and currently sit 5th in the standings.
The Pistons are not out of it just yet. The Wellington Dukes need to lose Thursday night when they play the Wenatchee Wild at 4:00 CDT. If the Dukes win in regulation, the Pistons are eliminated. If the Dukes win in overtime or a shootout, the Pistons would still have a chance.
No matter what, the Steinbach Pistons season is hanging by a thread heading into Thursday nights contest vs the host Chilliwack Chiefs.