For a second straight contest, the Steinbach Pistons scored 7 goals, this time defeating the Virden Oil Capitals 7-2 to extend their winning streak to six.
Unlike earlier in the season when having to travel, Steinbach roared off the opening faceoff generating a couple of good-looking scoring chances right off the hop, setting the tone for what was to come.
Prior to the game, Neo Kiemeney spoke about his game and how he'd like to see it grow. "I can overthink sometimes" the 19-year-old forward said. "I just need to shut my brain off and let it come naturally. I want to shoot more, too. I have a good shot. I can pick pockets in practice, I just need to trust my shot more."
It was a timely statement as the dynamic forward took a pass from Ty Paisley and snapped off a beauty wrister that went over the goalie's shoulder, off the bottom of the crossbar, and in for his 2nd goal of the year, giving Steinbach the lead just over eight minutes into the first. Travis Hensrud also picked up an assist.
The trio would strike again later in the frame, this time it was the 20-year-old from Thunder Bay who buried his team-leading 18th of the year from Paisley and Kiemeney to double up the lead to 2-0.
Virden managed to gain some momentum before the period was through as they earned a power play but Dominik Wasik and the MJHL's number 1 ranked penalty kill units turned away every chance the Oil Caps managed to generate.
Early in the second, it was the Oil Caps that went to the penalty box and the MJHL's number 1 ranked power play went to work, growing the lead.
Landon Roberts bullied his way to the front of the net and despite the Oil Caps defender thinking he had a good position, the 20-year-old giant Roberts knocked him aside, took a loose puck, and flipped it up and in to make it 3-0. For Roberts, it was his 7th of the year and now has 13 points in 11 games. Paisley notched his third assist of the game while Davis Fry also chipped in with a helper, giving him 11 power play assists on the season.
Nick Mikan got into the scoring act for a fifth straight game as the rookie hit double digits in goals scoring his 10th of the year, pushing Steinbach further ahead, 4-0. Ethan Johnson, who was buzzing all night, picked up a helper as did Leo Chambers.
Virden finally managed to get on the board just after the midway point of the second to cut the lead to 4-1.
It was teddy bear toss night in Virden, so the goal was met by dozens of stuffed animals being thrown onto the ice.
It worked in Steinbach's favor as the delay in getting everything cleaned up might have stalled any momentum the Oil Caps hoped to build off the goal.
After it was all cleaned up, the Pistons kicked things into another gear and crushed any ideas the Oil Caps may have had about a comeback.
Hunter Degelman scored a beauty as the 19-year-old collected a puck in the Virden zone, broke in, and slid a puck home for his 3rd of the year from Davin Griffin and Nate Goodbrandson, restoring Steinbach's four-goal lead, 5-1.
Not done yet, it was Fry's turn to bury as after a great defensive back-check from Roberts and Dawson Milliken stopped an Oil Caps rush in its tracks, Fry ended up with the puck and he uncorked a wicked shot that beat the goalie clean for his 13th of the year.
The four-goal middle period gave Steinbach a 6-1 lead heading into the final period.
After giving up 6 goals on 26 shots, the Oil Caps switched goalies to start the third.
Virden tried to up the physicality in the third but Roberts along with Langley Kruggel tossed around some hard checks themselves, not letting Virden get any energy.
Steinbach wrapped up their goal-scoring night as Goodbrandson used his size and some excellent hands to walk out toward the goal. A loose puck was batted home by Degelman for his second of the game and 4th of the campaign. Griffin, with family in attendance, picked up his second assist on the 7-1 goal.
Virden would get one more before the period came to a close but that's as close as they would get.
Wasik finished the night with 31 saves for his 11th win of the season.
Steinbach's power play finished 1-2 while the penalty kill was a perfect 3-3.
The two teams will meet again Sunday afternoon at the TG Smith Centre. Puck drop is set for 2:30 pm.