It was a trend over the past couple games and it finally came back to bite the Steinbach Pistons as the little details resulted in their first loss in 11 games 4-3 in overtime to the Dauphin Kings a night after defeating the Neepawa Natives 7-3.
Alright Friday Night
The Pistons top line was on absolute fire on Friday night combining for 15 points in the Pistons 7-3 win over Neepawa.
Drew Worrad drew first blood when he converted off an Austin Heidemann pass for his 22nd of the year and the first of what would be a big night for the 20-year-old forward. Bradley Schoonbaert also had an assist on the opening goal.
Schoonbaert would collect his 32nd goal just over four minutes later to make it 2-0 with Worrad and Heidemann getting the assists.
It took only 14 seconds after the 2-0 goal for it to be 3-0 as Schoonbaert slipped a perfect pass to Worrad for his second of the game and 28th of the year. Heidemann had another assist as the top unit combined for 9 points in the first period alone.
In the second, Neepawa got on the board early when Aston Anderson converted on a speed rush and drive the net play to cut the lead to 3-1.
Worrad capped off his hat-trick with less than 30 seconds to play in the second period as again Schoonbaert and Heidemann had the assists, ending the frame with a 4-1 lead.
In the third, before it was a minute old, Schoonbaert notched his second of the night from Worrad and Declan Graham to push the lead to 5-1.
Neepawa pushed back on a man advantage and Jordan Martin scored to make it 5-2.
Daniel McKitrick snapped off a backhander from the slot on the Pistons power-play to restore the four-goal lead again 6-2. Heidemann picked up his 5th assist on the night while Riese Gaber also had a helper.
Jack Johnson's 10th of the year less than two minutes later capped off the scoring for the Pistons making it a 7-2 game. Will Koop had the lone assist on the goal.
Justin Metcalf scored the final goal of the night for Neepawa to make it a 7-3 game but that was as close as the Natives would get.
Matt Radomsky picked up his 8th straight win making 13 saves on the night. The power play finished 1-3 while the penalty kill was 2-4.
With the win, the Pistons hit the double-digit mark with their latest winning streak, going 10 for 10.
Saturday Night Lesson
The Pistons were served a big piece of humble pie on Saturday night when the Dauphin Kings snapped their winning streak by defeating first-place Steinbach 4-3 in overtime.
The Kings came out pushing the pace and were rewarded with a couple of goals in the opening frame to take a 2-0 lead. The Pistons pushed back and had a couple of good scoring chances but couldn't score as the Kings took a 2-0 lead into the break.
In the second, Steinbach showed a bit more fight and scored a couple of quick goals to even the score.
First, Riese Gaber scored his 22nd of the year and first against his former team to cut the lead in half 2-1. Jack Johnson and Mark Taraschuk had the assists on the goal.
Less than two minutes later, while on the man advantage, Daniel McKitrick snapped off a perfect wrister shot that went top shelf to tie the game 2-2. McKitrick's 22nd of the season was assisted by Brendan Martin and Tyson McConnell.
Before the period was through, the Kings grabbed the lead again and took the wind out of the sails of the Pistons heading into the intermission leading 3-2.
Easton Bennett scored short-handed on a beautiful breakaway move to tie the game 3-3. Bennet's 11th was unassisted.
Despite Steinbach continuing to push, they couldn't find the back of the net. Many shots were right into the Dauphin goalies chest with little or no traffic in front.
In overtime, Dauphin forced a turnover and scored on a breakaway with only 8 seconds left to leave Steinbach with a stunning 4-3 overtime win.
The Pistons had 55 shots on goal.
Matthew Thiessen made 28 saves in the loss. The power-play for Steinbach finished 0-3 while the penalty kill was 3-4.
Long Week To Think About It
The Pistons don't see game action again until Friday when they visit the Swan Valley Stampeders, a team that they could very easily be playing in the first round of the playoffs.
To say Paul Dyck was less than impressed may be an understatement. "We were awful. We weren't prepared. We've been talking for three games about our details slipping and we talked about it prior to the game and we had little execution."
Over 55 shots on goal is a good number but it's the quality of shots that left Dyck and the staff wanting more. "We had a lot of shots but we weren't very sharp. We didn't have any traffic and a good goaltender is going to stop those pucks."
With only 8 games left in the regular season, a positive Dyck is taking from this game is that it should open up his team's eyes that there is never an easy night, especially heading into the post-season. "Things were coming easily to us for a while. We're not going to score 7 goals every night. You look at the goals against, our puck management was sloppy. Terrible turnover on the overtime goal and our coverage defensively was lacking. We have to be willing to play away from the puck. Tomorrow is a new day, we'll turn the page and refocus. We've got a couple days off but we'll be back Tuesday and ready to work."
On The Road Again
The final northern road trip is coming up this weekend when the Pistons travel to Swan Valley Friday night then Dauphin on Saturday. Both games will be broadcast on Mix 96 and SteinbachOnline.com
It will be a special weekend as many of the player's dad's and families will be coming up for the two-game trip. It's the second year that such a trip is taking place and it's something both the players and their dads have been looking forward to all year.