Pistons, Flyers, Kings & Oil Caps take series lead

Photo: Ryan Sawatzky

The opening night of the McMunn & Yates Turnbull Cup Playoffs proved to be a success for 3 of 4 home teams including wins for the Pistons, Flyers and Oil Capitals, while the Kings picked up a big win on the road in The Pas.

Steinbach Survives Niverville pressure | Pistons win 5-2, Lead Series 1-0
Three consecutive third period goals put the game away for Steinbach, but before that, Niverville gave the number 1 seed all they could handle. Fast paced and tight checking, both goaltenders battled but in the end, the Pistons depth got them over the top. Jamie Fuchs led the way for Steinbach with a goal and 2 assists. It was an electric atmosphere that will only grow as the series goes along. Game 2 Sunday in Niverville.

Wicked n’ Wonderful Winkler | Winkler Wins 4-1, Leads Series 1-0
Big time players step up in big time moments and Mike Svenson did just that. Leading the way on the scoresheet, the Flyers got the crowd into it early and often, riding that energy to a big game 1 victory. Malachi Klassen stood tall and kept Portage from finding their way back. Defending home ice is critical in the playoffs. The Terriers learned some lessons in game one, now it’s up to the group to respond and try to counter punch in game 2 Sunday in Portage.

Sheffield Simply Sensational | Dauphin wins 2-1, Leads series 1-0
Some nights the puck can look at large as a beach ball and when Cole Sheffield is dialled in, you need a BB gun to beat him. The Kings netminder left many looking up at the lights in disbelief with a sparkling performance to take game 1 on the road. Dauphin showed they can play a strong, mature road playoff game and do exactly what is needed to get the job done. What a story for former Blizzard and The Pas native, Ashton Paul, who scored the GWG for the Kings. The Blizzard will be frustrated at the lack of results but encouraged about the way they went about the game to earn those chances. Game 2 at Credit Union Place on Sunday should be a dandy.

Oil Caps Crush n’ Cruise | Virden wins 6-1, Leads Series 1-0
The Oil Caps flexed their depth and goal scoring prowess to run away with game 1. Neepawa managed to hang around but once Virden picked up their pace, they were able to get some great chances and capitalize 3/3 on the man advantage. All season the Titans have been a group that has responded when knocked down and if they want to get back into this series, their big guns are going to have to fight through the tough Virden checking and find the back of the net when they get the chance because the Oil Caps don’t allow many of those chances to develop. Special teams should play another massive role in Game 2 on Sunday at the Madhouse on Mountain.