After winning the Manitoba Junior Hockey League championship, the Pistons moved on to face the Nipawin Hawks in a best-of-seven series that determined who would move on to represent Canada’s western region in the RBC Cup.
Although putting up a valiant effort, Steinbach was unable to pull together any victories while in British Columbia. After falling 4-3 to the Wenatchee Wild in their tournament opener last Sunday, the Pistons dropped their second game 3-2 to the Wellington Dukes in overtime.
Once again Steinbach lost 5-4 in overtime to the Ottawa Junior Senators on Wednesday, before dropping their final game of the round robin 4-1 to the host Chilliwack Chiefs Thursday.
In losing three of four games by just one goal (two of which were lost in overtime) the Pistons certainly held their own while going up against some very difficult competition.
Unfortunately for Steinbach, starting netminder Matthew Thiessen went down with an injury midway through the team’s second game, and was ruled out of action for the remainder of the tournament – a huge blow to a team that relied heavily on his presence between the pipes.
Once again, Matt Radomsky filled in rather nicely for Steinbach, stopping 37 of Chilliwack’s 41 shots in defeat. Two quick Chiefs goals in the late stages of the first period seemed to do the Pistons in. After a third period marker by Chilliwack, Steinbach was finally able to find the twine on a two-man advantage, but the Chiefs struck back just moments later, sealing the deal for the B.C. boys, 4-1.
MJHL Coach of the Year and team General Manager Paul Dyck, certainly enjoyed the Pistons’ historic 2017-18 season. Although coming up a few wins short of the national championship, his present plan is to enjoy the year that was.
“It’s the greatest year in the history of our franchise,” Dyck said. “The guys have a lot to be proud of, and we’re certainly proud of them as a staff. They have accomplished a tremendous amount this year – both on and off the ice. It was a special year, tough to cap – but I think right now for everybody it’s time to just revel in what’s just taken place, and enjoy the memories that were created this year.”