The Steinbach Pistons got a pair of goals from forward Ian Amsbaugh, helping defeat the Winkler Flyers 4-2 on Wednesday night in MJHL pre-season action.
In the first period, the Pistons carried much of the play against a younger Flyers lineup. Steinbach dominated in shots and chances through most of the opening 20 minutes.
Despite the chances, it was the Flyers that got on the board first, grabbing a 1-0 lead thanks to Rhett Marchant.
With time ticking away in the first, Steinbach cycled the puck down in Winkler territory. Jamie Fuchs forced the puck to the front of the net and Ian Amsbaugh managed to find it lost in some skates and shovel it home. Spencer Penner also picked up an assist on the 1-1 goal.
In the second, 15-year-old Jackson Kostiuk, who was the Pistons 1st round pick in this past MJHL draft, took a wonderful pass from defender Owen Johnston and fired a quick shot that beat goalie Aidan Comeau to make it a 2-1 Pistons lead.
Steinbach switched goalies midway through the second period. Sean Walia took over for Dimitri Fortin who made 4 saves on 5 shots.
A few minutes after taking the net, Walia faced a two-on-one for the Flyers and it was Marchant that managed to beat the Pistons netminder for his second of the game.
The 2-2 tie held the rest of the way and both teams skated into the intermission deadlocked.
Like the Pistons, the Flyers switched goalies so both could get a look in the exhibition matchup. Comeau finished with 24 saves on 26 shots and was replaced by Jacob Armstrong to start the third.
Both teams went through the motions for the first half of the third period. Showing some speed, determination, and physical play.
Xyon Kiemeny took the physical play a bit too far and was called for boarding giving Steinbach the man advantage.
It took no time at all for Steinbach to take advantage. Good puck movement around the offensive zone eventually opened a lane for Brett Kaiser who snapped off a quick snap-shot that found the back of the net to make it 3-2 Steinbach. Fuchs and Amsbaugh were given credit for the assists on the goal.
Kaiser, a 1st round pick by Steinbach back in 2020, caught the eye of assistant coach Calvin Bugyik. "He's a really smart player", Bugyik said after the game. "He's, at some point, going to get a lot of points in this league. He just found a good spot, a soft area to get a shot off and he didn't miss his opportunity to rip it, that's for sure."
With under two minutes to go, Amsbaugh capped off a three-point night by scoring his second of the game to put the contest away for the Pistons, 4-2. Leo Chambers and Reeve Sukut collected assists on the final goal of the contest.
Walia wrapped up his period and a half of work making 8 saves on 9 shots while his counter part Armstrong stopped 8 of 10 in his one period of duty.
Steinbach finished 1-3 on the power play and didn't take a penalty.
The Pistons and Flyers will tangle again in the pre-season on Friday night in Winkler before Steinbach comes home to wrap up their exhibition schedule on Saturday night vs the Niverville Nighthawks.