Based off their starts, the Steinbach Pistons should probably be 2-0 at the RBC Cup in Chilliwack, but, that's not the case as they sit at 0-1-1 heading into their third round-robin game tonight.
"We've definitely done some good things by establishing those two-goal leads," said Paul Dyck, Head Coach & GM. "I think in that Wenatchee game, we sort of took our foot off the gas pedal. And, the same thing in the Wellington game. We allowed them to claw back, and win it. We just have to find ways to stick with it for an entire 60. We feel we could be 2-0, we're not, but, we're right there."
Now the Pistons find themselves in must-win mode tonight as they take on the Ottawa Jr. Senators. A win means they can still advance to the semifinals, but, a loss will most likely eliminate them from playoff contention.
"I think we're a confident group," said Gilbert Plains Riese Gaber. "We know what's on the line. I think the guys are ready for the task."
"The day off we had yesterday was a positive, and allowed us to hit the reset button and get over the disappointment from the first two games," said Dyck. "We still control our own destiny here, but, we definitely need to start putting up some goals, and locking down defensively."
Gaber returned from an injury that held him out since game two of the Anavet Cup, and he made his presence felt right away. The speedster opened up the scoring in the second period against the Dukes and had several other golden chances throughout the game.
"It was nice to get back out there for sure," said Gaber. "I felt good, and I was happy to have a good game."
"He brings a lot of speed and energy to the ice," said Dyck. "We thought he would bring a lot when he returned, and I thought he might have been our best player the other night."
Heading into tonight's must-win, the Pistons will be without their #1 goaltender Matthew Thiessen. He was injured in the game against Wellington and is doubtful to return in the tournament.
"We have another goaltender in Radomsky who is definitely capable of winning games," said Dyck. "He's really excited for the opportunity tonight."
Tonight's game will be a 9:00 p.m. Manitoba start.