Two more wins have extended the recent winning streak of the Steinbach Pistons, pushing it to 5 straight victories.
Sinking The Blues
Friday night saw the Pistons head into Winnipeg and defeat the hard-working Blues 6-2.
The party looked like it was going to start early as Jackson Kostiuk buried his 6th of the year just 22 seconds into the game. Brayden Berg and Brandon Funk picked up the assists on the 1-0 goal.
It was a shooting gallery through most of the first period. At one point, Steinbach was leading in shots 17-0.
Despite all the puck control and good chances, it stayed 1-0 until Jamie Fuchs was able to snap off a great wrist shot that beat the Blues netminder to extend it to 2-0. Hunter Degelman and David Cote were given the assists.
In the second, Winnipeg managed to cut the lead to 2-1.
Grady Hoffman restored the Piston's two-goal lead as the rookie sensation tore into the offensive zone, picked his spot, and uncorked a beautiful shot that hit the bullseye, giving the 18-year-old 24 goals on the season. Kostiuk notched the one assist on the 3-1 marker.
Once again, Winnipeg managed to get back to within one, scoring on the power play to cut it to 3-2.
On a power play of their own, Steinbach scored to once again give themselves a two-goal buffer. Connor Paronuzzi handled the puck at the side of the net. As he tried to slide a pass across the slot, Funk was knocked down in front and the puck deflected off him and in. Funk's 19th was assisted by Paronuzzi and Leo Chambers.
In the third, the Blues tried to get back into the game with their best chance coming on a breakaway that was stopped by Cole Plowman, who came up big throughout the game, despite not having many shots against, the 20-year-old remained dialed in, especially after the Blues made it a one-goal game in the second.
Hoffman put the game away with his second of the night, hitting the open net from Paronuzzi. His 25th goal is the most on the Pistons and puts him in third place in the MJHL goal-scoring race.
Rookie defender Shane Burns added one more empty net goal, his 3rd goal of the season from goalie Plowman and Trey Sauder, putting the game away at 6-2.
Steinbach's power play was 1/6 while the penalty kill was 1/3.
Plowman made 14 saves on the night for his 25th win of the season.
Stronger Than Steel
On Saturday, the Pistons took their time but a pair of quick strikes and some more timely saves from Cole Plowman produced a 4-1 victory over the Selkirk Steelers.
In the first, both teams went through the motions. Neither were giving up much in the defensive zone. Both offenses seemed to sputter and lots of the play ended up in the neutral zone.
Shots were 7-5 Selkirk after the first 20 minutes, which remained scoreless.
In the second, Connor Paronuzzi took a pass from Leo Chambers in the slot and wired home his 9th of the season. Liam Doyle, who got the play started with an excellent breakout pass, also picked up an assist.
Less than a minute later, a hectic scene around the Steelers net caused a loose puck to be found by Kirk Mullen who displayed elite patience and puck control, scoring his 21st of the year. Brayden Berg and Spencer Penner collected the helpers.
In the third, the Steelers cut the lead to 2-1 but that's as close as they would get.
Jamie Fuchs blocked a shot at his own blueline, then tore off into the offensive zone with Sam Noad on a two-on-zero rush. Fuchs waited until the last possible moment to get the pass over to Noad who buried his 6th, putting Steinbach ahead 3-1.
Fuchs would later seal the deal with an empty net goal, his 15th of the year from Mullen, giving Steinbach a 4-1 win.
Plowman finished with 26 saves for his 26th win of the year.
Steinbach's power play was 0/3 while the penalty kill was a perfect 2/2.
A Valentine's Day date awaits with the Winnipeg Blues coming to the HyLife Centre Wednsday night. Steinbach will head out on the road Friday to visit the Dauphin Kings then come back for a Monday afternoon matchup against the Winkler Flyers at home.