The Steinbach Pistons won in a thrilling shootout on Saturday night but couldn't carry that momentum over to Sunday where they fell to the Stampeders, in what was a pair of terrific games at the TG Smith Centre over the weekend.
Goalies Steal The Show
It was a highly anticipated game on Saturday night as the 2nd place Stamps and the 3rd place Pistons were set to faceoff and both teams gave it their all and when the dust settled, Steinbach had the edge in a shootout, 2-1.
Brady Tatro got Steinbach on the board early in the first period as he cashed in on a Pistons power play.
With Steinbach controlling in the offensive zone, Curtis Ireland teed up a pass for Troy Williams who got a shot from the point through traffic that was stopped but Tatro was able to find the loose puck and notch his 15th of the year to make it 1-0 Steinbach.
Swan Valley answered with under 8 minutes to go when they deflected a point shot in to tie it up 1-1.
That was the last time Matt Radomsky would have a puck get past him all night long in what was a stellar performance.
Radomsky for Steinbach and Merek Pipes for Swan Valley both didn't allow another goal in regulation.
The shots over 60 minutes were close but both goalies were sensational going back and forth with a kind of "if you can make a save, I'll make a bigger save" competition between them.
A pair of highlights from the defensive play was a Stampeders block with Steinbach on a power play followed by a pair of massive shot blocks by Troy Williams who put his body directly in harm's way with two fearless shot blocks as the second period was coming to an end, keeping it tied up at 1-1.
The Stamps outshot Steinbach 12-9 in the first and 9-8 in the third. Steinbach had the edge in the second period shots 17-13.
There was a chance in overtime for Swan to come away with the win when Steinbach was assessed a minor penalty for slashing.
Steinbach's penalty killers stood tall and surrendered only a single shot on goal which was stopped by Radomsky. Tyson McConnell, the lone forward on the 4 on 3 penalty kill, made a pair of big shot blocks which helped Steinbach get the game to a shootout.
In the breakaway challenge, Radomsky stopped all three Swan Valley shooters.
The first two Pistons shooters were also stopped which set the stage for Brady Tatro.
Tatro made his was in on Pipes, drifted left before starting to cut back towards the centre slot, he picked his spot and rifled a wrister glove side and in to give Steinbach the 2-1 win.
Steinbach's power play was 1-5 while the penalty kill was a perfect 4-4 including that massive kill in overtime.
Radomsky was named the games first star after making 34 saves on the night. Steinbach had the edge in shots overall on the night 35-34.
Sunday Slips Away
After such a thrilling game on Saturday, the same two teams met on Sunday but this time it was the Stampeders getting the better of the Pistons as they scored three straight goals to win 4-2.
Power Play Take Over
Both teams were given chances on the power play and both made the most of those opportunities.
Swan scored the opening goal just over five minutes into the game to grab a 1-0 lead.
Steinbach answered back when Brendan Westbrook took a pass from Tyson McConnell and went streaking into the offensive zone, joined by Kyle Bettens who drove to the net with his stick on the ice. Westbrook hit Bettens with a pass and after his initial shot was stopped, Bettens was able to bury the rebound to knot the game up a 1-1. For the 17-year-old from Winnipeg, it was his second goal of the year.
Less than 30 seconds into the second, Steinbach as able to grab the lead on another power play.
Pistons defender Troy Williams was able to get a pass to Brendan Martin down near the bottom of the faceoff circle and Martin fired a high shot that was stopped but Boedey Vaeth fought his way to the front of the net and the veteran forward slid home a backhander to give Steinbach 2-1 lead.
Swan scored a pair of goals late in the second period to take a 3-2 lead into the third period.
That lead grew as the Stampeders scored just over a minute into the third to make it 4-2.
Easton Bennett tried his best to jolt his team with emotion with a big-time scrap midway through the period. Bennett squared off with Tann Mckechnie and Bennett quickly got the upper hand and didn't let up as he connected with several heavy punches that were too much for the Stamps forward to handle.
Both were shown the gate picking up 5 minutes for fighting and game misconducts.
Steinbach never could muster consistent offensive pressure in the third period and were actually outshot 15-5.
Matt Radomsky finished the night with another 30 saves on 34 shots.
Steinbach's power play was 2-5 while the penalty kill was 4-6.
Steinbach doesn't see game action again until Friday night when they travel to Virden for a date with the Oil Capitals. The last time the two teams met was in Virden where the Pistons fell 5-3.
The game will be on MIX 96 and SteinbachOnline.com with the pre-game show at 7:15 pm and puck drop at 7:30 pm.