Dominik Wasik and Cole Plowman split a pair of games over the weekend and backstopped Steinbach to 3 out of a possible 4 points during their recent road trip through Swan Valley and OCN.
So You Wanna Play Rough? Okay!
Friday night saw Steinbach go down early but battle back to tie the game, eventually forcing a shootout but coming up just short losing 2-1 in a classic, playoff-style battle to the Swan Valley Stampeders.
Right off the start, the Stamps wanted to send a message. Before the puck was dropped, the Stamps forwards hacked and whacked at the Pistons waiting for the faceoff. The little chippy plays continued through the opening shift and got Steinbach's attention and response.
The Pistons dominated the early going. They had the advantage in territorial play, they moved the puck well, they had speed through the neutral zone that helped generate chances and they leaned hard on the Stamps on all areas of the ice.
Travis Hensrud had the best chance early as the 20-year-old wired a shot that beat the Stamps goalie but rang off the crossbar.
Ian Amsbaugh also hit a post later on in the opening period as the Pistons sent wave after wave into the Stamps zone.
Swan Valley did manage to score first as a seeing-eye shot from the point through traffic put them up 1-0 late in the opening period.
Despite going down a goal, Steinbach pushed and kept earning chances into the second.
The middle frame again saw Steinbach have the edge in most categories, including shots on goal, 13-4 but the second period came to an end the same way as the first, with the home side up 1-0.
Early in the final frame while on a power play, Langle Kruggel showed off his impressive skating ability by walking the blueline, then hammering a shot towards the goal. Thanks to some incredible work by Dawson Milliken in front, the puck managed to clank off a Stamps player and in to tie the game 1-1.
For Kruggle, his impressive all-around 20-year-old season continues as he notched goal number 7. Davis Fry, in his first game back from injury, grabbed one helper while Kirk Mullen extended his point streak to three games with an assist as well.
Dominik Wasik was sensational making several big saves througout the game but maily in the third as Stamps worked to get the go-ahead goal but the 20-year-old Air Force comitt and some stellar defensive plays kept it tied 1-1 after regulation.
Neither team seemed like they wanted to make a misake in the 3-on-3 extra frame so time eventually ran out and a shootout would be needed to decide a winner.
The Stamps scored twice while Amsbaugh responded for Steinbach, Hensrud's attempt once again beat the Stamps goalie but not the post to give Swan Valley the 2-1 shootout win.
Steinbach's power play netted them their only goal, finishing 1-5 while the penalty kill was a perfect 2-0.
Wasik was saddled with the loss after making 27 saves through regulation and overtime.
Similar Story Saturday
The following night against the OCN Blizzard once again saw Steinbach head to a shootout but this time, they came out on top in a wild, hard-fought 1-0 win.
Just prior to the game, Steinbach found out they would be without Noah Szabo and Parker Jasper, which gave forward Davin Griffin a chance to play defence for the game.
The 20-year-old not only met but exceeded the expectations and played very solid throughout the night on the blueline, showing off his elite IQ and calm demeanor.
Cole Plowman got the start for the road side and the 19-year-old with the best make paint job in the MJHL came in with a chip on his shoulder and something to prove.
Both teams came out on a mission, trading chances in the first and Plowman made a couple big time stops.
Shots were 14-9 Steinbach after the first but it was scoreless.
In the second, again Plowman turned away some glorious chances, mainly while the Pistons were shorthanded.
Shots were hard to come by but it was OCN getting the upper hand in that department finishing with 7 to Steinbach's 4.
Plowman's best period came in the third as the Blizzard used a loud, packed barn to get some momemtem and work mainly in the Pistons zone. Plowman and his entire team played hard, gritty, battle ready hockey and not only stood up to what OCN threw at them, but countered with some chances of their own.
Once again, 60 minutes of hockey was not enough to settle this contest so the teams went into overtime.
Steinbach really upped their game in the extra frame controlling most of the play with the exception of a partial breakaway for the Blizzard that was turned away by the strong goaltending of "Plows".
In the shootout, Kirk Mullen put Steinbach up a goal which was followed by a strong save from Plowman. Ian Amsbaugh missed and that allowed the Blizzard to put a puck past Plowman, the only goal they would score on the evening.
After Hensrud missed and yet another stop by the 19-year-old Pistons goalie, Dawson Milliken took his turn. The 20-year-old powerhouse started wide, broke in, faked forehand then went backhand and in.
Staring down the Blizzard player, Plowman made the final save of the game and secured the extra point for Stienbach and a happy bus ride home.
Finishing his night with 31 saves plus 3 more in the shoout, Plowman recorded the shutout and was the games 1st star.
Steinbach's power play was 0-1 while the penalty kill was 3-3.
Steinbach wraps up their 5-game road trip against the Winkler Flyers on Wednesday night. The puck drops at 7:00 pm in Winkler.