Oil Caps drop Game 4 to Pistons, series tied 2-2
It could’ve been a different result on Monday night at Tundra Oil and Gas Place if the Oil Caps had found a way to capitalize on the plethora of scoring opportunities the club had in the opening frame.
Missed opportunities by the Oil Caps in the first period, including several posts and close calls around the net followed by a solid push back by Steinbach the rest of the way resulted in a 4-0 Pistons win in Game 4 of the MJHL championship. The series is now tied 2-2 with Game 5 slated for Thursday night in Steinbach.
“If those go in, it’s a different game,” said Oil Caps co-captain Dylan Thiessen, regarding his club’s scoring opportunities early in the game. “But we needed to have a better push in that second period. If we would’ve kept playing the way we did in the first period, things could’ve been different.”
The only goal in the first period came off the stick of Mark Taraschuk of the Pistons at the 10:06 mark on the power play, netting his fifth of the postseason, silencing the home crowd. The Oil Caps were hoping to start the second on the right foot, but things unraveled quickly as Darby Gula picked up his first of the playoffs just 14 seconds into the middle frame, giving Steinbach a two-goal advantage. The Pistons would add another in the period as Austin Heidemann’s fourth of the playoffs at the 8:45 mark made it 3-0 for Steinbach after 40 minutes.
The Oil Caps attempted to rally in the third, but just weren’t able to solve Pistons netminder Matthew Thiessen, who stopped all 23 shots for the shutout. The Pistons would find the back of the net one more time on this night as Brady Tatro’s fifth of the playoffs at 14:13 of the third rounded out the scoring.
“They took a lot of options away from us tonight,” said Oil Caps head coach and GM Troy Leslie. “We tried to force a lot of pucks into places where we shouldn’t have been. We at times, looked off an easy option and tried to make it more difficult and turned over some pucks as well. Now it’s a best of three and we got to go back into their building and win a game.”
Oil Caps netminder Riley McVeigh fought off a lot of traffic in front of his net all night long, making 29 saves along the way in the loss.
“I think it’s important that we learn from this one and bury it quickly and start to get ready for the next game,” Leslie added.
The Oil Caps will now have two days off to rest up and prepare for Game 5 in Steinbach on Thursday night. Game time for that contest: 7:30 p.m.
-Oil Caps backup netminder Dalton Dosch on the first period: “The bounces weren’t going our way. A couple inches left, a couple inches right and we’re up in that game three or four goals in the first.”
-Oil Caps blueliner Devon Becker with the quote of the night: “I think if you were going to walk out of here thinking you were going to beat these guys in four or five, you might be dreaming. But it’s 2-2 here. We just have to clean it up a little here and get back at it.”
-Oil Caps forward Kolten Kanaski on the two days off in between games: “We just have to regroup here. We’re right in this thing. We just have to go into their barn and throw them around a little bit and hopefully we can get the bounces just like they did tonight.”
-The Redfern Farm Services hardest worker tonight: No. 16 Josh Belcher.