Battle from the Box Leads Steelers to Victory
Written by Sonya Kuitenbrouwer
Out of the gate, the Grandview Steelers seemed to dominate over the Abbotsford Pilots. Generating several high-quality chances and maintaining majority of puck-possession, the home team out-shot the visitors 9-4 in the first 20 minutes. Though some fantastic net minding from Pilots goaltender Colton Day, Ranveer Dhaliwal managed to sneak one by on the powerplay, notching his second of the year.
Into the second frame, the frustration began to unfold for the two teams. The clean passing and heads-up play seemed to fall apart for the Steelers, while the Pilots struggled to stay out of the box. A handful of powerplays midway through the period managed to ease pressure off the Steelers, as the Pilots, hungry to break their 11-game loss streak, began piling on shots. As the Steelers’ structure began to fall apart, Captain Pettingale took one off the draw and put it home on the wraparound, doubling his team’s lead. Less than a minute following the goal, frustration boiled over, with both teams taking 10-minute misconducts heading into the third period.
Coming out for the 3rd period, a frustrated Pilots team looked hungry for a goal as the Steelers anxiously held on to a 2-goal lead. It was hard forechecking by Chelico and Soda that bounced the puck up for a shot from Lee, tipped in by Mongrain, which added another to the 2-goal lead. It wasn’t long after that the Steelers began to watch their discipline fall apart. A high-stick, followed by a holding infraction gave Abbotsford a brief 3-on-5 powerplay. Though a fantastic effort from Steelers goaltender Nicholas Muc, a deflected shot on the Pilots powerplay managed to sneak past the netminder, cutting the Steelers lead to 2. It took no more than a minute and 6 seconds for the Steelers to respond, and despite a struggling powerplay, Timperio took advantage and potted his team’s 4th goal off a nice pass from Kaiden Johnson. With less than 2 minutes remaining, it was Alec Pettingale and Pilot’s Liam Knotts who broke out in a fight in the offensive zone. Quickly separated by the refs, Pettingale received the worst of the penalties, leaving with a Game Misconduct resulting in an automatic one-game suspension. Grandview would close out the night on top, extending their win streak to 3 games.
Final score: 4-1 Grandview Steelers, with goals from Dhaliwal, Pettingale, Mongrain and Timperio. Pilots goal from Denver Kitt.
Three Stars: 1st star – Kaidan Johnson (3 assists), 2nd star – Nicholas Muc (29/30 saves), 3rd star – Alec Pettingale (1 goal)