The Steinbach Pistons came out firing on Tuesday night against the Winnipeg Blues but could only find the back of the net once in what finished a 2-1 loss, the first of the pre-season.
Steinbach had their chances in the opening period but strong goaltending from the Blues turned away all 13 shots Steinbach threw on net.
The Blues turned a couple of odd men rushes into a pair of first period goals to grab a 2-0 lead after the opening 20 minutes of play.
In the second, the Pistons Troy Beauchemin notched his third goal in two games, cutting the Blues lead to 2-1. Cayden Cleland and Mat Wilbee had the assists on the goal.
Neither team would score in the third and the game came to an end with Winnipeg taking away a 2-1 win.
Matt Radomsky got the start and was strong in very limited work making 6 of 8 saves while Danton Belluk took over at the halfway point and stopped all 8 shots he faced.
Steinbach's power play failed to click finishing 0-5 while the penalty kill was 1-1. For the fourth straight game, the Pistons held the edge in shots 36-16.
From The Bench
Assistant coach Calvin Bugyik says there were positives to take away, despite the score. "Overall, I think it was a pretty good game," Bugyik said from just outside the Pistons dressing room at Bell MTS Ice Plex. "As the numbers get down, the pace picks up. Both teams were missing some guys but really, it was one shift in the first period that cost us a couple bad breaks that resulted in two on ones, that was it. Other than that, we played pretty well."
Defenders Pushing For Offence
Steinbach's defence was engaged in the offensive zone all night long, at times, resulting in defenders being below the opposing goal line. Bugyik says there's a balance between letting them play their game and keeping within a system. "It's a bit of both. We haven't put in too much structure but with the group we have, we're going to push them up ice. There were times tonight we were laughing on the bench because both D down in the far crease, so we will probably talk about that a little. With this group, we can skate and we want to be mobile. They won't have free reign but they'll be able to push up ice for sure.
X Gonna Give You Two More
With only two more games in the exhibition season, Bugyik talked about getting a last look or two at the younger players while making sure the veterans are ready to go come opening night. "It's balance. We'll have to talk about it, which guys need to play and how much. A part of that needs to be decided on. I think it's very fluid for the next week or so. Whether it's a veteran guy to get into a rhythm or a younger guy getting another chance, they're both important right now."
Two new players made their Pistons pre-season debut looking to crack the lineup vs the Waywayseecappo Wolverines on September 21st.
Forward Andrew Warhoftig, a 19-year-old from Frisco, Texas and 18-year-old defenceman Joey Petronack from Maplewood, Minnesota both had impressive moments vs the Blues.
Warhoftig has played in Canada before, suiting up for the SJHL's Estevan Bruins last season putting up 2 points in 7 games before returning to Texas to play with the Dallas Starts U18 program where he put up 12 points in 19 games.
For Petronack, it's his first crack at hockey outside the USA. Last year in Minnesota playing USHS (United States High School-Minnesota) he had 4 goals and 11 points in 25 games as the Captain of the team.