The Niverville Nighthawks outpaced the Pistons by a score of 6-4 Wednesday evening.
The Pistons showed why they are a top team in the league as they came out strong early in the first period. The Nighthawks had to defend against a few early chances as Steinbach used their speed down the wings and controlled play in the offensive zone.
Kirk Mullen pounced on a rebound and buried his second goal of the year, giving Steinbach a 1-0 lead just under 10 minutes into the game. Niverville responded 22 seconds later after Ty Kennet found the back of the net on a weird play out of the corner in the Steinbach end. The puck deflected off of a stick laying on the ice and somehow snuck by Pistons goaltender, Cole Plowman. Bryce Warkentine picked up his first point as a Nighthawk, grabbing an assist on the goal.
Davin Griffin regained the lead for the Pistons, making it 2-1 at the 12:29 mark. Nate Goodbrandson assisted on the play and collected his second of three points in the contest.
It looked as though the Pistons would skate into the break with a 2-1 lead, but Carson Read finished off a nice rush and snapped a perfectly placed wrist shot into the net and tied the game at 2 with only 15 seconds remaining in the 1st period.
The second frame started off well for the Pistons as Nate Goodbrandson beat Nighthawks goalie, Chris Fines just over a minute and a half in. Fines recovered well and made some key saves. Eventually, the Nighthawks started to roll. Bryce Warkentine scored his first goal as a Nighthawk and got the crowd going as Niverville battled hard. Steinbach struggled in their own end at times in the period and gave the Nighthawks a few scoring chances. Josh Paulhus sniped his 10th goal of the year on one of those opportunities, while Braden Panzer helped extend the Niverville lead to 5-3 heading into the third period.
The third period provided the crowd with some great entertainment as both teams created multiple offensive opportunities. Cole Plowman was fantastic in net for the Pistons all night as he stopped a number of grade-A scoring chances by the Nighthawks, while his counterpart Chris Fines did the same for Niverville.
Kirk Mullen cut the Niverville lead to 1 after he scored 6:58 into the third, making the score 5-4. From there Chris Fines held the fort for the Nighthawks and finished with 32 saves on 36 attempts. Plowman stopped 35 of 39 in net for the Pistons.
Desmond Johnson scored an empty net goal in the last second as the Nighthawks managed to topple the Pistons by a score of 6-4. Steinbach went 0-4 on the man advantage while the Nighthawks were 0/1.
Both teams are back in action Friday as Steinbach hosts the Portage Terriers in a battle for league supremacy. Niverville is at home for a match-up with the Winnipeg Blues.