The Steinbach Pistons stumbled out of the gate and never could fully recover as they fell to the Portage Terriers 2-1 on Friday night in Steinbach.
The Terriers came out pushing the pace and caught the Pistons back on the heels early one. After Portage killed off a penalty, they went to work on the power play as a shot from the point found it's way through a maze of bodies and past Roman Bengert to give the Terriers a 1-0 lead. Things could have been worse for Steinbach but Bengert stood tall making 15 saves on 16 shots against. Steinbach could only muster 8 total shots in the period.
In the second, the Pistons found their legs a bit and were rewarded with numerous scoring chances, but pucks just seemed to hop over sticks or take strange bounces, resulting in opportunities but no goals. Portage increased their lead to 2-0 around the midway point of the period before Steinbach answered back on the power play.
After some good down low work from Hinson and Schoonbaert, the puck found it's way to Mack Graham at the point. The 19 year old from Toronto made a nifty toe drag around a Terriers checker and then fed a pass over to a streaking Tyler Anderson who snapped home a wrist shot to cut the lead to 2-1. For Anderson, it was goal number 8 on the season and extended his point streak to 6 games in which he has 3 goals and 7 assists for 10 points. Hinson collected the an assist along with Graham.
The Pistons made a push to tie the game in the third but just couldn't force the puck over the goal line and the horn sounded snapping their 7 game winning streak with 2-1 loss at home.
Steinbach got their legs going as the game progressed and Bengert was solid in net as he gave his team a chance to win it, making 31 saves. The power play finished 1-4 while the penalty kill was 3-4.
The Pistons will enjoy a whole week off. They don't see action again till Friday, February 10th when they host the Winkler Flyers. It'll be game two of a four game home stand.