It wasn't a typical pre-season game as the Steinbach Pistons and Winkler Flyers traded heavy checks throughout but when the dust settled, it was Steinbach coming out on top 5-2 on Saturday.
After winning the opening pre-season tilt, both teams sprinted out of the gate throwing hard checks up and down the ice that had fans and the benches engaged early.
Seemingly every whistle in the opening frame was followed up by some sort of pile-up or scrum.
Neither team could find the back of the net in the first period. Shots were slightly in favor of the road team, 7-5.
In the second, penalty trouble would begin to cost the Flyers as the Pistons opened the scoring on the man advantage.
19-year-old Max Charbonneau from Sorel-Tracy, Quebec knocked home the opening marker to put the Pistons up 1-0. Returning players Brett Kaiser and Parker Jasper were given the assists on the power play goal.
Winkler managed to tie the game up just over three minutes later but another power play would restore the Pistons lead.
Jasper crept in from the blue line, took a wonderful pass from defender Liam Doyle, and snapped off a shot that beat the goalie clean to make it 2-1.
Another response from the Flyers, this time on a power play of their own, knotted things up 2-2.
Less than a minute after the tieing goal, Jamie Fuchs, who will be celebrating his 19th birthday on September 20th, hustled and outworked the Flyers on his way to the goal where he cashed in to put the Pistons up 3-2. The lone assist went to 18-year-old Tyler Jordan from St. Michael, Minnesota.
In the third, Steinbach put the game away courtesy of two more power-play goals.
First, it was Kaiser notching his second point of the night as the 18-year-old sniper showcased his elite scoring ability finding the back of the net just 31 seconds into the frame. Assists went to Jackson Kostiuk and Doyle.
Doyle capped off his own three-point night with his third goal of the pre-season to push the lead to 5-2. The dynamic defender has put up an impressive 6 points in two pre-season games. Connor Paronuzzi and Jasper were given the assists.
Coming off a 3-point effort, Jasper says he liked the way his team competed and battled throughout the game. "I think we knew coming in it was going to be a tough game. They have their own play style but we kept our composure and played a full 60 minutes. I thought the 'D' played really well, we kept our heads and made the plays we were supposed to make."
Like the first game, the Pistons got a lot of offense from the defense which is something Jasper says is really just a small sign of things to come. "It's great, we have six guys that can put points on the board. We have a great group fo guys, it's really exciting."
Steinbach will play two more pre-season games before things get going for real. Wednesday night, the Pistons head to Niverville to take on the Nighthawks before welcoming them to Steinbach for the return match on Saturday night.