The Steinbach Pistons and Portage Terriers went hit for hit, save for save throughout much of Friday night's game but it was the visiting Terriers that pulled out a 2-1 win.
Prior to the puck drop, the Pistons welcomed several special guests as part of their Remembrance Day ceremony. Also, the Pistons wore special military-themed jerseys that are being auctioned off Pistons Military Auction | Powered by Givergy with proceeds going to the Steinbach Legion Poppy Fund.
Once the game did get underway, both teams tried to set a tone both physically and by using their speed.
Portage took an early penalty and the Pistons didn't take long to capitalize.
Ian Amsbaugh showed off his elite patience and puck control before firing a wrister through a crowd in front for his 4th of the season. Spence Penner picked up an assist on the 1-0 goal.
Steinbach would take a pair of penalties within a minute of each other which gave the dangerous Terrier power play a 5-on-3 for over a minute.
Goalie Cole Plowman made a couple of big saves while the three-man penalty kill kept Portage to the outside by clogging lanes and having active sticks.
Eventually, the Terriers wore down the defenders and scored to tie the game 1-1.
The rest of the period saw both teams get some pretty good chances to claim the lead, mostly because of some egregious turnovers but the goaltenders stood tall, not allowing anything past them.
The 1-1 draw held into the second period where again, both teams threw their weight around with some big-time hits.
One of those hits was against the door where the players come onto the ice. The hit was so hard in that particular spot that it snapped off a hinge, which caused a delay. After a few minutes, the rink crew along with some helping hands were able to get the door re-situated and with a little help from a 2x4 piece of wood, the game was allowed to resume.
In the final minute, the Pistons managed to chip a puck through the Terriers defense and broke in all alone but were turned away on the breakaway chance.
After the save, the play continued and it was Portage that tore up the ice on a two-on-one which they did convert on to take a 2-1 lead with just 11 seconds left in the period.
Despite outshooting Portage 15-6 in the period, the Pistons trailed after 40 minutes 2-1.
In the third, more chances piled up for Steinbach as they searched for the equalizer.
Several times it looked as though the Pistons were set to tie the game but they just couldn't get the puck to settle down. Perhaps their best chance ended up clanking off the post and staying out.
In the final minutes, Portage played lockdown defense and simply refused to let Steinbach have any puck control in the offensive zone.
Again, Steinbach outshot the visitors but they couldn't solve the Terriers netminder and for a second straight game, the Piston's comeback fell short.
The power-play had its opportunities but couldn't get anything outside of scoring on their first showing of the game, going 1-7. The penalty kill was strong going 1-4.
Plowman was saddled with the loss but the 19-year-old goalie battled all night and gave his team a chance, making some sensational stops and turning away multiple dangerous chances, finishing with 26 saves.
The Pistons won't have much time to dwell, they're right back in action on Saturday night as they travel to Winnipeg to take on the Freeze.