The Steinbach Pistons grabbed a lead midway through the third period and managed to hang on through a frantic final minute to win the first game of the first round against the Winnipeg Blues 4-3 on Friday night.
Digging A Hole
Despite opening the game strong, the Pistons fell into a hole after a pair of goals by Winnipeg steaked the visitors to a 2-0 lead.
Boedey Vaeth was able to get Steinbach back into the game as the 20-year-old forward took a loose puck from behind the net and fired it out in front. The puck deflected off of the Blues goalies stick and into the net for Vaeth's first of the post-season and cutting the lead in half, 2-1.
Easton Bennett had the lone assist on Vaeth's goal that gave the crowd some life heading into the first intermission.
Super Strong Second
The Blues lead didn't last long as Bennett helped set up another Vaeth goal to tie the game.
Bennett drove into the zone and then slammed on the breaks and waited for something to develop. Kyle Bettens drove the net and dragged a couple of Blues defenders into the blue paint with him.
On a delayed penalty, Bettens kicked a loose puck to the side of the goal and Vaeth battled through his check to free himself and then tuck the puck into the open net to tie the game 2-2.
Steinbach grabbed the lead on a power play when Tanner Mole made his way to the front of the net and cashed in on a rebound to push Steinbach ahead 3-1. Mole's first of the playoffs was assisted by Tyson McConnell and Bettens who nabbed his second helper of the night.
Matt Radomsky Owns The Third
After the Blues tied the game early on a power play, they continued to push, firing shot after shot towards the Pistons goal.
Matt Radomsky refused to bend let alone break.
Radomsky made several huge, unbelievable saves including one in tight where he kicked out a puck and then on the rebound, stretched across the goal line and with his blocking arm, managed to make another save, keeping it all tied up 3-3.
Mole Comes Up Clutch
After Radomsky gave his team a chance to get the lead back, it was Mole that came through and cashed in after a Blues turnover in the slot. Mole's second of the game was unassisted and gave Steinbach a 4-3 lead.
Team Defence Stands Strong
The Pistons were leading 4-3 when they took a minor penalty with less than three minutes remaining. The penalty kill was able to kill it off as Radomsky and the defenders held on even after Winnipeg pulled the goalie to make it a 6 on 4 advantage.
The big play came in the dying seconds as a puck was loose in the Pistons zone near the blueline. Tyson McConnell dove to try and swipe the puck out before a Blues forward could grab it. The captain gave it all he had and was able to connect and knock the puck out of the zone and time expired pushing Steinbach ahead in the series with a 4-3 win.
Matt Radomsky - 40 saves on 43 shots (W)
Jeremy Link - 29 saves on 33 shots (L)
Pistons power play - 1 for 3
Pistons penalty kill - 2 for 3
1st - Pistons Tanner Mole - 2 goals
2nd - Pistons Boedey Vaeth - 2 goals
3rd - Blues Nathan Adrian - 1 goal 1 assist.
Game 2 Sunday night 6:30 in Winnipeg.