Steinbach eliminated from Centennial Cup with 3-1 loss


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The Steinbach Pistons season came to an end May 16, as they dropped their final preliminary round game at the Centennial Cup to the Battlefords North Stars.

The Pistons needed a win in regulation to nab a playoff spot, but ended up losing 3-1 in a hotly contested affair.

Steinbach had a glorious chance to take the lead late in the third period, but Kirk Mullen was robbed by Josh Kotai on a two-on-one chance. Noah Szabo had tied the game with a point shot and Steinbach, needing a win in regulation, poured players forward in search of a go-ahead goal.

Ian Amsbaugh is stopped on a breakaway during the second period of Steinbach's game against Battlefords at the Centennial Cup. (Cassidy Dankochik The Carillon)

Instead, it was Kian Bell who would find the winner, flipping a puck past Dominik Wasik with three minutes to go, ending Steinbach’s Centennial Cup. Battlefords would add an empty net goal.

The North Stars opened the scoring on the powerplay in the first period, after Steinbach was unable to convert on two early chances with the man advantage.

Steven Kesslering got a two-on-one chance down low, and looked off the pass, opening up a gap on Wasik which he managed to squeak the puck through.

It was a chippy game which took a dangerous turn, as Travis Hensrud was whistled for a five-minute major and a game misconduct for boarding, injuring a North Stars player.

The Pistons were able to kill off the penalty, after Landon Roberts drew a holding penalty to eliminate the final minute-and-a-half of powerplay time.

Both teams remained feisty throughout the second period, but neither could cash in with a goal. The best chance of the period came in the waning moments, as Ian Amsbaugh was stopped on a breakaway with five seconds to go.

For complete coverage of the Pistons Centennial Cup performance, be sure to pick up the May 18 edition of The Carillon.

The Steinbach Pistons warm up before their game against Battlefords at the Centennial Cup in Portage la Prairie. (Cassidy Dankochik The Carillon)

In other action across the day at the Centennial Cup, Brooks rounded out a perfect preliminary round, defeating the Cobras de Terrebonne 6-1. Brooks will finish with the best record in the preliminary round, earning a quarterfinal bye, and get the right to select which semi-final they wish to play in.

The Collingwood Blues control their own destiny in group B, after handing the Kam River Walleye their fourth loss of the Centennial Cup.

All eyes will be on the Blues and Terriers as they round out the opening round Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. First place in group B will be on the line.

Quarterfinals will be played on Friday, with the semi-finals set for Saturday. The finals, which will be broadcast on TSN, are scheduled for 3 p.m. May 21.

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