The Steinbach Pistons exploded for back-to-back seven-goal games, pushing their winning streak to 5 with wins over the Niverville Nighthawks and Winnipeg Blues over the weekend.
Finally, A Little Puck Luck
On Friday night, Steinbach took some lucky bounces and made sure not to miss as they defeated the Niverville Nighthawks 7-1.
Things started going the way of the Pistons early.
After taking a penalty, the puck was cleared the length of the ice and the Nighthawks goalie came out of his net to play the puck. He was intercepted by Grady Hoffman who walked out and shot it into the yawning cage for his 5th of the season.
The 1-0 lead would grow later in the period when Connor Paronuzzi took a beautiful stretch pass from Jack Cook and let loose a laser shot that went far side and in to make it 2-0. For Paronuzzi, it was his 3rd goal of the year.
If not for Cole Plowman and some key blocks throughout the frame, the opening 20 minutes could have looked very different. Niverville outshot Steinbach 18-9 and twice had power play opportunities but couldn't find the back of the net.
In the third, Brett Kaiser potted his third of the season as the 18-year-old crashed the net and tapped home a loose puck. Jackson Kostiuk continued his impressive year with the lone assist.
A few minutes later, the Nighthawks finally got on the board. As a power play wound down, Michael Debrito took a pass from Brett Tataryn and uncorked a beautiful shot that clanked off the crossbar and in for his 7th of the year. Kaycee Coyle who started the play with some excellent defense in his own zone, also picked up an assist.
Just as it looked like the Nighthawks had some momentum, Brandon Funk stole it right back for the home side as he caused a ruckus in front and eventually knocked home his 2nd of the year. Kirk Mullen picked up an assist as did Noah Szabo.
Another lucky break while shorthanded gave Hunter Degelman a wide-open net after another dump-in was misplayed by the Niverville goalie. The 20-year-old Degelman made no mistake knocking home his 3rd o the year.
Steinbach's two short-handed goals in a game ties a franchise record for most in a single contest. The last time they did it was in March of 2022 vs Selkirk.
In the third, any doubt about the outcome was sealed as under thirty seconds into the period, Grady Hoffman tucked home his second of the night and 6th of the year. Captain Leo Chambers continues his impressive run with the assist.
Brady Ingebritson also got into the scoring act as the 18-year-old banked one in from a strange angle for his second of the year. Chambers and Hoffman nabbed the assists on the 7-1 goal that ensured all in attendance would get free pancakes from a local restaurant.
Cole Plowman was a rock star in the crease as the 20-year-old held his team in it early, gave them a chance to find their scoring touch throughout and despite some threatening from the Nighthawks, never let anything get too out of hand.
The 20-year-old goaltender finished with an impressive 42 saves.
Steinbach's power play was 0-4 while the penalty kill was put to work going a very impressive 9-10.
It's the first time this year the Pistons scored 7 goals at home, but it wouldn't be the last time over the weekend fans were treated to pancakes.
Scoring Party Saturday
Saturday night saw another strong output of goals, this time against the Winnipeg Blues as the Pistons dominated from puck drop to the final buzzer, winning 7-1 for a second consecutive night.
Early in the first, it was Grady Hoffman again getting the scoring started after a great rush by Jamie Fuchs, the puck was left in the crease area with Fuchs and Degelman digging away. The disc eventually found Hoffman who buried his 7th of the year to go up 1-0.
Winnipeg answered back in the final seconds of a power play as former Pistons prospect Blake Goretzki scored on a point shot through traffic for his first career MJHL goal.
That would be the last highlight for the Blues.
Noah Szabo put Steinbach right back on top as the Pistons instilled their will on the struggling Blues. Szabo's point shot made it through cleanly for the 19-year-old 2nd goal of the year. Assists went to Jack Cook and Leo Chambers.
Hoffman doubled down for a second consecutive night scoring his 8th off of some great work by his linemates Chambers and Brady Ingebritson, who both picked up helpers on the 3-1 marker.
On a power play late in the first, Jack Cook fired a shot from the point that beat everyone, including the Blues goalie, for his 4th of the year to make it 4-1 after 1.
Beck Liden made the start and wasn't tested with lots of shots but was tested in quality as after giving up the first goal, he made two key stops, including one off a partial breakaway.
Shots finished 22-3 after 20 minutes for Steinbach.
In the second, Chambers won a faceoff in the offensive zone. The puck went back to David Cote off a pass from Hoffman. Cote let a great shot go that was deflected by Chambers for the captain's 4th of the year.
Liden was busier in the second but the score was still all Steinbach, 5-1 after 40 minutes.
In the third, Kirk Mullen put the game away as he knocked home his 6th of the year from Jackson Kostiuk to make it 6-1.
As kids changed "We want pancakes", Max Charbonneau delivered as the hulking 19-year-old battled in front before chipping a backhander up and over the outstretched goalie for his first career MJHL goal. Kostiuk and newcomer Brayden Berg, who was making his Pistons debut, had the assists on the 7-1 goal.
Steinbach was in control throughout and it showed on the scoreboard, a 7-1 final as well as the shots, 54-18 all while again taking a lot of minor penalties.
The penalty kill was sensational going 6-7 on Friday on top of a 9-10 the night before. The power play struck in their lone opportunity, going 1-1.
Liden picked up the win with a 17-save night.
The MJHL Showcase starts on Monday and runs through Wednesday. Steinbach has two games at the Showcase. Monday night at 7:00 vs the OCN Blizzard and then on Wednesday at 2:00 vs the Neepawa Titans.