It was a tale of two different teams in one game for the Steinbach Pistons, who stumbled out of the gate in the first half but stormed back to send their home fans home happy in a 5-3 win over the Virden Oil Capitals on Sunday night.

In the first period, it was the Oil Capitals that came out pushing the pace and the tempo. The upbeat play earned Virden the first power play of the game and they capitalized making it 1-0 within the first five minutes. The Oil Capitals finished off the period strong, extending their lead to 2-0 with 1:40 remaining. 

Things didn't go much better to start the second period as a turnover in the defensive zone, allowed Virden to make it a 3-0 game near the midway point. 

After the break in the middle of the period, a different Pistons team came out. They started using their speed and started pushing back. After a couple hard working shifts in a row, it was Mack Graham getting Steinbach on the board with his 21st goal of the year as Tyler Anderson and Bradley Schoonbaert picked up the assists. The horn sounded with Virden clinging to a 3-1 lead.

In the third, the top team in the MJHL flexed their goal-scoring muscles. Will Koop, fresh off his showing at Team Canada West, notched his 10th of the year, cutting the lead to 3-2. Schoonbaert got credit for the lone assist on the goal and he wasn't done, it was Schoonbaert who set up Wyatt Hinson just over a minute later to tie the game at 3-3. For Hinson it was goal four on the year and his fourth goal in three games.

The scoring party continued as the teams leading scorer Mack Graham picked up his 22nd of the season with the assists going to Hinson and Schoonbaert who capped off a four point night and giving the Pistons their first lead in the game 4-3. Vaughn Dupre added the insurance marker with Jordan Bochinski grabbing the lone assist making it 5-3 and that's how the game would end.

Roman Bengert increased his win total to 20. Last season, Bengert totalled 25 wins. Between Bengert and rookie Matt Radomsky, the Pistons have the number 1 and 2 ranked goalies by the numbers in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League.

The power play finished 0-6 while the penalty kill went 1-2. Steinbach out shot Virden 44-24.

Steinbach had the best record in the MJHL at the Christmas break, 28-5-1 and have won 7 of their past 8 contests. They have a 7 point lead on the second place team and have played one less game. The Pistons also lead the league in goal differential with +78 (144 goals for vs 66 goals against). 

The Pistons will enjoy one of the longest holiday breaks in franchise history, 17 days between games. They next meet the Terriers in Portage on January 4th. 

Game Notes:

Mack Graham leads the team with 47 points (22 goals, 25 assists).

Bradley Schoonbaert had 4 assists. He has 42 points on the season (18 goals, 24 assists)

Wyatt Hinson has 8 points in 7 games as a Steinbach Piston.

 

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SCOREBOARD

Friday, April 28th

NHL
Western Conference
Semifinals
Nashville at St. Louis, 7 p.m.
(Predators lead best of 7 series 1-0)
Edmonton at Anaheim, 9:30 p.m.
(Oilers lead series 1-0)

Esso Cup
@ Morden
Semifinals
St. Albert vs Durham West, 3:30 p.m.
Pembina Valley vs Triolet, 7 p.m.

Major League Baseball
American League
Baltimore at New York, 6:05 p.m.
Tampa Bay at Toronto, 6:07 p.m.
Seattle at Cleveland, 6:10 p.m.
Chicago at Detroit, 6:10 p.m.
Los Angeles at Texas, 7:05 p.m.
Oakland at Houston, 7:10 p.m.
Minnesota at Kansas City, 7:15 p.m.
National League
New York at Washington, 6:05 p.m.
Pittsburgh at Miami, 6:10 p.m.
Atlanta at Milwaukee, 7:10 p.m.
Cincinnati at St.Louis, 7:15 p.m.
Colorado at Arizona, 8:40 p.m.
Philadelphia at Los Angeles, 9:10 p.m.
San Diego at San Francisco, 9:15 p.m.
Interleague
Chicago Cubs at Boston, 6:10 p.m.

NBA
Eastern Conference
Quarterfinals
Washington at Atlanta, 6:30 p.m.
(Wizards lead best of 7 series 3-2)
Boston at Chicago, 7 p.m.
(Celtics lead series 3-2)
Western Conference
Quarterfinals

L.A. Clippers at Utah, 9:30 p.m.
(Jazz lead series 3-2)

Thursday, April 27th

NHL
Eastern Conference
Semifinals
Ottawa 2 N.Y. Rangers 1
Pittsburgh 3 Washington 2
(1st games in best of 7 series)

Esso Cup
@ Morden
Pembina Valley 6 Mid-Isle 1
St. Albert 7 Durham West 3
Prince Albert 3 Triolet 2
(end of preliminary round)

Zone 13 High School Baseball
@ Mitchell
SRSS vs Green Valley (ppd)
Niverville vs St. Joachim (ppd)
@ Ile des Chenes
Gabrielle Roy vs Edward Schreyer (ppd)

Major League Baseball
Interleague
1st game: St. Louis 8 Toronto 4 
2nd game:St. Louis 6 Toronto 4
American League
Seattle 2 Detroit 1
Cleveland 4 Houston 3
New York 3 Boston 0
Los Angeles 2 Oakland 1
National League
Philadelphia 3 Miami 2 
Atlanta 7 New York 5
Washington 16 Colorado 5
Los Angeles 5 San Francisco 1
Arizona 6 San Diego 2

NBA
Eastern Conference
Quarterfinals
Toronto 92 Milwaukee 89
(Raptors win best of 7 series 4-2)
Western Conference
Quarterfinals
San Antonio 103 Memphis 96
(Spurs win series 4-2)

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