The Steinbach Pistons and Niverville Nighthawks wrapped up their respective exhibition schedules on Saturday night as Steinbach skated away with a 5-2 win.
Dawson Milliken opened the scoring with a power play goal less than five minutes into the game. Milliken took a cross-zone pass from Spencer Penner and buried his first of the pre-season. Ian Amsbaugh also had an assist on the goal.
Niverville answered back as Gavin Gunderson buried his second of the pre-season and he directed the puck towards the net, found a hole, and scored to tie the game 1-1. Defender Ethan Kelly picked up the lone assist.
In the second, Steinbach's Brett Kaiser showed off some elite patience and hands to dangle around the Niverville goalie and tuck in his second of the pre-season to give Steinbach the lead again, 2-1. Ty Paisley and Noah Szabo collected the assists.
Once again, the Nighthawks were able to battle back and even the game. A point shot by Kelly was deflected by Brett Tataryn. Tataryn's first of the pre-season was assisted by Kelly and Zak Kennet.
Nate Goodbrandson restored Steinbach's lead on the power play. As Steinbach upped the pressure, Ty Paisley was able to walk into the slot and fired a shot wide. The puck bounced off the end boards and went right out to Goodbrandson who rifled home his first and made it a 3-2 game. David Fry also picked up an assist.
That lead expanded when Milliken scored his second of the game from Nick Mikan and Fry just over a minute after the Goodbrandson goal.
It stayed 4-2 Pistons heading into the final period.
The final period saw Steinbach cut a path to the penalty box. All told, Niverville had 9 power play opportunities but they couldn't score on any of them.
With the goalie pulled in the final minutes, Davin Griffen sealed it for Steinbach as the forward showed off his high hockey IQ by picking off a pass at the defensive blue line, getting to the neutral zone, and firing the puck off the post and in to make it 5-2.
Cole Plowman got the start for Steinbach and finished the game with an impressive 39 saves.
Chris Fines started for the Nighthawks and made 29 saves on 33 shots on goal.
Steinbach finished the night going 2-3 on the power play while Niverville went 0-9 on their man-advantage chances.
Both teams will have a lot of practice time in the next few days as they work to finalize their roster before the season opener Friday night in Steinbach.