The Steinbach Pistons took one step forward and one step back over the weekend defeating the Neepawa Natives before falling to the Winnipeg Blues.
Welcome To Steinbach, Nico!
Newcomer Nico Labossiere made an impact for his new team scoring a goal and adding an assist as Steinbach edged the Neepawa Natives 2-1.
It was a scoreless first period that was highlighted by an unbelievable save by Piston's goalie Matt Lenz.
In the final seconds of the first period, a broken play resulted in a partial two on one for Neepawa. The puck rolled towards the corner and the Neepawa forward raced towards it, catching it and putting it out in front for a teammate who was all alone. Lenz read the play absolutely perfectly and went across the crease with his pads to make the sensational stop.
In the second, Labossiere capped off a pretty passing play to open the scoring.
The Pistons rush started in the defensive zone as Boedey Vaeth (in his first game back after a lower-body injury) won a battle along the boards and moved the puck into the neutral zone to Brendan Martin. Martin cut his way into the offensive zone as Labossiere made his way to the net. Martin fed the pass over and Labossiere showed off amazing hands and patience as he waited out the goalie in tight to tuck home his first of the year and first as a Piston.
Neepawa managed to tie the game only a few minutes later but Steinbach regained the lead as Labossiere and Martin teamed up again for a goal with help from Declan Graham.
With Steinbach turning up the pressure, Neepawa tried to clear the zone by flipping the puck in the air but Graham climbed the ladder like a major league baseball playing shortstop and grabbed the puck out of the air and put it to his stick. He fired a pass down to Labossiere who found Martin in front. Martin cashed in for his 24th goal of the year, giving Steinbach a 2-1 lead.
In the third, the Pistons clamped down defensively and refused to let Neepawa get anything towards the net as the defence and Lenz stood tall and held on for a 2-1 win.
Lenz finished the night with 26 saves for the win and was named the games second star.
The power play was 0-1 but the penalty kill was special again finishing 5-5.
The Pistons had a ton of chances during the Saturday night game vs the Winnipeg Blues but could manage just a single goal in a 3-1 loss.
A back and forth, entertaining first period didn't result in any goals but there were a number of chances for both teams.
In the second, Steinbach got the opening goal as Kyle Bettens was in the right place at the right time as he found a loose puck behind the Blues goalie and tapped home his 4th of the year. Boedey Vaeth and Easton Bennett had the assists on the goal.
Winnipeg managed to tie things up on the power-play and the game was deadlocked into the third period.
Steinbach continued to push but it was the Blues that caught the break as a point shot went wide and banked off the end boards and came out right in front for the Blues forward who hammered it home to give Winnipeg the 2-1 lead.
The Pistons pushed with the net empty but the Blues managed to fish the puck out of the zone and fire into the open cage to seal a 3-1 win.
Lenz again was solid making 28 saves. The power play was 0-2 while the penalty kill was 4-5.
Packed Suitcase For Showcase
Matt Radomsky, Brendan Martin, Declan Graham, Boedey Vaeth, Brendan Westbrook, Kyle Bettens, Curtis Ireland, Tyson McConnell, Troy Williams and Tristan Culleton are all in Regina for the MJHL/SJHL Showcase.
Head coach Paul Dyck and Athletic Therapist Jeff Eidse are also part of the staff that will be at the event.
Each player will play two games.
The Steinbach Pistons have another Division 1 committed goalie as Matt Radomsky announced he has committed to Holy Cross over the weekend.
The 19-year-old leads the MJHL in many goalie categories.
There will be a full story coming up on Radomsky after returning from the MJHL/SJHL Showcase.