The Oil Caps continued their strong play in Steinbach coming off their January 23 shut out win at the T.G. Smith Centre. Tanner McKechnie would score his 8th of the season with the assist going to McCullough Park to give the Oil Caps a 1-0 lead after one period on play. The Oil Caps would build on that lead in the second period when Tristan Thompson would find Tristen Cross joining the rush (12th of the season) with Josh Belcher also picking up an assist.
The Oil Caps would go into the second intermission enjoying five period of shut out hockey at the TG Smith Centre. However the Pistons would come out strong in a wild third period in a game the had taken on a playoff feel. The Pistons would score two quick goals at 7:18 (Williams from Neill) and 8:10 (Martin from Vaeth and Labossiere on the PP) to square things up at 2 apiece.
The Oil Caps would respond quickly and regain their lead with Jack Einarson scoring his 13th of the season from Josh Belcher at 9:26. Einarson’s controversial goal that appeared not to cross the goal line would add to the the frenzied feel of the game. Jack Kilroy would tie the game at 14:42 sending things to overtime.
Overtime would not last long as Brendan Martin would score his 30th of the season from Vantour just 48 seconds into the extra frame. The Pistons would end up with the advantage in shots 34-31. The Oil Caps will have to regroup quickly as the will face the Winnipeg Blues tonight at the Bell MTS Iceplex at 7:00.
Head Coach Troy Leslie had this to say about the loss on Friday: “You have to draw a lot of positives anytime you can come into this rink and play 5 periods on shut out hockey. The game was intense and had a real playoff feel which is good for our team as we approach the playoffs. The Pistons played extremely hard in the third and put a lot of pucks on net creating battles in that area. We need t learn from this game and get ourselves ready for the Blues tonight.”