After dropping two games in a row, the Steinbach Pistons have put together a tidy three-game winning streak, including a pair of wins over the weekend.
Home Ice Defended
Steinbach wrapped up a lengthy homestand on Friday night with a thrilling 5-4 shootout win over the Dauphin Kings.
Steinbach got the scoring started when Tanner Mole cashed in for his 19th of the year in the first period.
After Tyson McConnell dumped the puck in, he raced behind the net, won a puck battle and filtered the puck out front to Boedey Vaeth who got a good, quick shot off but it was stopped. Mole bulled his way to the front of the net and stuffed home the rebound to make it 1-0.
In the second period, Kyle Bettens picked off the puck from a Dauphin defender and broke in all alone. Bettens went to his patented backhand drag and bury as he scored his 7th of the year, unassisted to push the lead to 2-0.
Dauphin came roaring back and eventually evened up the game 2-2 after 40 minutes of play.
The Kings worked their way out in front, grabbing a 3-2 lead less than a minute into the third period.
Brendan Martin converted on a beautiful three-way passing play to knot the game up 3-3.
Martin, Bettens and Nico Labossiere broke into the Dauphin zone. Labossiere fed the puck up to Martin who broke in on a mini two on one with Bettens. Martin fired the pass over to Bettens who corraled it, hesitated and dragged the defender and the goalie out of position before getting the pass back to Martin who tapped it into the open net for his 27th of the season.
A late power play for the Kings gave them the advantage again as they scored to grab a 5-4 lead and looked to nurse the game to its conclusion.
The Pistons refused to let that happen.
After taking a time out, the faceoff was set in the offensive zone. Both centremen lined up to take the draw, but Steinbach's was kicked out. They had to bring in a different guy to take the draw.
That man was Riley Vautour.
Vautour not only won the draw but he won it cleanly back to Troy Williams who let a wobbling, seeing-eye wrister that somehow missed all the bodies in front and found the back of the net to tie the game up 5-5 with under two minutes to go.
After a rough night between the pipes, goalie Matt Radomsky tightened up and refused to let Dauphin get anything past him. Radomsky made several key saves in overtime while his team was on the penalty kill to force a shootout.
Radomsky fought off 4 out of the five shots in the shootout as well.
After Vaeth scored, Dauphin tied it up. A Radomsky save set the stage for the hero of the night, Tanner Mole.
Mole, who got the scoring started, ended the game with a perfect wrister over the shoulder of the Dauphin netminder, sending the home fans home happy.
Steinbach had a lone power play chance that they failed to capitalize on but again showed off the number 1 ranked penalty kill going 4-5.
Saturday Night's Alright For Shutouts
Matt Lenz led the Pistons into battle against the Winkler Flyers on Saturday night and the 19-year-old didn't surrender a goal in a 5-0 shutout win.
Steinbach played a very strong road period, limiting Winkler to few chances, all from the outside.
One thing Steinbach wanted to work on was earning power-play chances by keeping their legs moving and forcing the Flyers into chasing them.
Steinbach had 3 power play chances in the first period but never scored.
It looked like it would remain scoreless until Tristan Culleton floated a wrist shot towards the net, glancing off a Flyers defender and in for his 3rd of the season. Doug Johnson had the lone helper on the 1-0 goal.
In the second, Steinbach struck again late as this time it was Boedey Vaeth snapping home a shot from a bad angle for his 16th to make it 2-0. The captain Tyson McConnell had the only assist on the goal. It was 2-0 after 40 minutes.
In the third, Steinbach exploded and ran away with the game.
Kyle Bettens scored again, his fourth goal in three games to push the lead to 3-0. Brendan Martin and Troy Wiliams had the assists on Bettens' 8th of the year.
Martin had a picture perfect wrist shot as the forward notched his 28th of the season to extend the lead to 4-0 Nico Labossiere and Tristan Culleton had the assists on the goal.
Finally, if there was any doubt about the outcome, Tyson McConnell scored late on a 5 on 3 advantage to put the game away, 5-0. McConnell's 19th was assisted by Williams and Bettens.
Lenz was up for the challenge the Flyers put forward and he stood tall, making 25 saves on the night and finishing as the games 1st star.
The power play earned 7 chances and scored on one of them while the penalty kill was a perfect 4-4.
A home game vs the Virden Oil Capitals on Wednesday night.