There will be a game six in the ANAVET Cup Monday in Steinbach. That became a certainty when the Nipawin Hawks bounced back to defeat the Steinbach Pistons 5-2 Wednesday night in Nipawin as the best of seven ANAVET Cup series is now tied 2-2.
Brandon Arnold paced the Nipawin attack with two goals and two assists in last night’s game.
After the Pistons came into Nipawin for game three and totally dominated the Hawks, building up a 5-0 lead before the Pistons triumphed 6-2, the Hawks struck for two goals in the first last night as Brandon Arnold beat Matthew Thiessen six minutes in and Brett Harasymuk made it 2-0 as he scored with 18 seconds remaining in the opening stanza.
And then with the Pistons’ Brendan Martin drawing double high sticking minors early in the second, the Hawks wasted no time cashing in on the powerplay as Michael Grant made it 3-0 Nipawin. But then Pistons defenceman Darby Gula, the Steinbach product and the highest scoring defenceman in the league this season, went to work as he scored twice just three minutes apart to pull the Pistons to within one.
But a pair of late goals by the Hawks, Josh McDougall on the powerplay with two minutes remaining and a shorthanded goal with 12 seconds left by the impressive Brandon Arnold, the hero of game one, with his fifth of the series, staked the Hawks to a 5-2 lead after 40 minutes.
Matt Radomsky replaced starter Matthew Thiessen in the Steinbach net in the third as Nipawin held on in a 5-2 final to knot the series. Shots in the game were 27-27.
Following Friday night’s game five in Nipawin, the Pistons will return home to get ready for game six Monday night in Steinbach. If a deciding game is required, it will go Tuesday at the T.G. Smith Centre in Steinbach.
The winner of this series advances to the RBC Cup National Junior ‘A’ Championship, being held May 12-20 at Chilliwack, B.C.