Ottawa Junior Senators secure semi-final berth with overtime win

Nick Lalonde had the winner in a 5-4 overtime victory over the Steinbach Pistons at Prospera Centre.

The Steinbach Pistons are on life support at the 2018 RBC Cup after losing to the Ottawa Senators at Prospera Centre Wednesday night.

Nick Lalonde’s power play goal late in overtime gave the Ottawa Junior Senators a 5-4 win and a berth in Saturday’s semi-final round.

The Pistons picked up one point for making OT, but they now face a must-win scenario tomorrow (Thursday) night when they face Chilliwack. They must pick up at least one point against the Chiefs and hope that Wellington loses its afternoon game against the first-place Wenatchee Wild.

Otherwise, the Manitobans will be heading home after an early exit.

The game vs the Senators started very well for the Pistons, who stormed out to a 3-1 lead, with Brendan Martin opening the scoring 10:08 into period one. Riese Gaber started the play, carrying the puck down the left wing over the Ottawa blueline. He was stood up by a Senators defender, but was able to slip the puck ahead to Braden Purtill when saucered a pass through an Ottawa defender to Martin. In alone on the Senators net, the native of Thunder Bay, Ontario pulled the puck to his backhand and slipped the puck past Sens goalie Connor Hicks.

Ottawa got that one back 150 seconds later.

Starting in place of injured netminder Matthew Thiessen, Matthew Radomsky gave up a softie to Conor Smart, who beat him clean with a wrist shot from the top of the left faceoff circle near the left-wing wall.

But the Pistons put two more behind Hicks before the period was done.

Purtill restored the Steinbach lead at 16:03, crashing the net and getting a tap-in at the back post on a centering pass/shot from Gaber.

With 31 seconds left in the opening frame, Ottawa’s Devon Daniels was sent off for hooking, sending the Pistons to the power play. Just eight seconds later, defenceman Darby Gula snuck down from the left point to bury a back-door feed from Bradley Schoonbaert, giving Steinbach a two-goal cushion.

The teams combined for four goals on 15 shots, with the Pistons holding a 9-6 edge.

Ottawa scored the only goal in a penalty-filled second period to pull within one. Twelve of the 20 minutes were spent with someone on the power play as the officials wore out their arms.

Seconds after killing off Craig McCabe’s double minor for high sticking, the Senators were buzzing in the Steinbach end. Defenceman Zach Salloum dropped the puck to Finn Evans, who wound up with a full slap shot from above the right faceoff circle.

With traffic in front, Radomsky may not have seen the puck as it whistled past him, into the Pistons net.

Ottawa drew even five minutes and 45 seconds into period three on a goal by Gabriel Morin. Off an offensive zone draw, Ethan Manderville drove the puck to the net from the left wing, tightly checked by Steinbach’s Tyson McConnell. Manderville spun off the check and delivered a pass into the goalmouth for Morin, who snapped a quick shot over Radomsky’s glove.

The Pistons retook the lead at 8:47 on a power play goal by Austin Heidemann. Purtill collected his third point of the match, dishing a pass into the slot from the left wing boards, where Heidemann snapped a shot inside the right post.

But Ottawa answered right back with another equalizer 68 seconds later. This one came off a scramble in the Steinbach end. Evans took the first shot on Radomsky, who made the save but left a rebound for Owen Guy. The Senators captain made no mistake, popping the puck over Radomsky to send this game to overtime.

With 4:33 to go in four-on-four OT, Purtill was sent off for slashing, giving Ottawa a four-on-three power play. Forty one seconds later, point man Salloum saucered the puck to Nick Lalonde at the left faceoff dot and he stepped into a slap shot, blasting the puck through Radomsky to give the Sens the win.

Smart was Ottawa’s Player of the Game while Purtill got the nod for Steinbach.

Just Posted

Okanagan Shuswap weather: Glimpses of sun expected on another wintry day

The sun will be peeking out from behind the clouds for the next few days

Urban Distillery + Liquor moves to West Kelowna

The proprietor has big dreams for the new space

World Community Film Festival returns to Kelowna

The festival celebrates its 16th anniversary

Line-up for Kelowna Fan Experience 2019 to be announced

The line-up will be announced Feb. 22

Former homeless man hopes to inspire change for others in Kelowna

Dean Schaffler was one of the more recognizable men living on the street in Kelowna

5 Events to check out this weekend local ski hills

Check out this new column from Okanagan events guru Christina Ferreira

70% of Canadians agree with mandatory vaccines for children: poll

The debate for pro and anti vaccinations has heated up after a measles outbreak in Vancouver

UPDATE: Woman, off-duty cop in critical condition after stabbing outside B.C. elementary school

The officer was interceding in an alleged assault when he and the woman were stabbed

‘A little baloney’ in PM’s claim about solicitor-client privilege on SNC-Lavalin

The Conservatives and NDP want Trudeau to waive that privilege so Wilson-Raybould can offer her side of the story

Proposed edible pot rules are wasteful, would leave products tasteless: critics

When Canada legalized weed last fall, it only allowed fresh or dried bud, oil, plants and seeds

Samsung folding phone is different – but also almost $2,000

But most analysts see a limited market for foldable-screen phones

Alcohol policies fizzle for Canadian governments as harms overflow: reports

About 80 per cent of Canadians drink, and most enjoy a drink or two

Most Read