The Steinbach Pistons had a week off between games and they used that time to get back to what's made them successful this year and it led to wins over the OCN Blizzard and the Virden Oil Capitals, respectively.
Pancaking The Blizzard
Steinbach was challenged by themselves to have a better overall effort on Saturday night and they delivered putting up a dominating 7-2 win over the OCN Blizzard.
There were two themes to the game, 'drive the net' and 'balanced scoring' as the Pistons had three goals tipped in and seven different goal scorers.
The opening goal belonged to Steinbach and it all started with a hit in the neutral zone.
Brendan Westbrook delivered a hard hit to an OCN defender right at the Pistons bench which jarred the puck loose. Westbrook then dumped the puck into the far corner and chased after it. That same defender who Westbrook hit moments earlier went back to retrieve the puck but with Westbrook bearing down on him, coughed it up to the 19-year-old forward who found Tanner Mole all alone in front for his 10th of the year, giving Steinbach a 1-0 lead. Tyson McConnell also picked up an assist on the goal.
McConnell would increase the lead less than three minutes later as he cleanly won an offensive zone face-off back to defender Liam Anderson who wristed a puck towards the net that was perfectly tipped by McConnell past OCN's goalie for a 2-0 advantage. The captain has 9 goals on the year.
Mere seconds after the 2-0 goal, OCN cut the deficit, 2-1.
The two goal lead would be restored before the end of the first as it was Wesbrook again generating offence, this time on a power play for his 4th of the year and second in as many games, 3-1 Pistons. Easton Bennett, who has had an increased role with the special teams unit since an injury to Curtis Ireland had one assist while Mole notched another two point game as he had the second assist. Mole now has 12 points in 15 games so far this season.
Early in the second, both teams were bit by the injury bug.
First, it was Tony Apetagon who was hit into the OCN Blizzard door at the bench. It was a jarring hit that flung the door open and Apetagon was stopped when he hit the opening. He was down on the ice for several minutes being examined by OCN's trainer and Pistons trainer Jeff Eidse. He did manage to make his way to the bench under his own power and stayed briefely before departing for the locker room.
As Apetagon left, so did Pistons forward Brendan Westbrook who left the game and didn't return with a lower body injury.
Steinbach would continue the scoring early in the seond period as Brady hammered home a rebound for his 12th of the year from Boedey Vaeth and Brendan Martin.
Just over a minute later, Jack Kilroy scored his first career MJHL goal when he deflected a shot from Bennett that went off an OCN defender and in to make it 5-1. Killroy, who hails from Denver, Colorado had family in attendance to see his first goal of the year. Along with Bennett, Marcel Berube had an assist.
Near the midway point of the second, OCN bit into the lead again scoring to make it 5-2 heading into the third period.
The final frame saw Steinbach score twice.
It was Troy Williams with his third of the season on a power play that pushed the lead to 6-2 with Vaeth and Martin getting the helpers.
That duo would combine again for the 7th goal on the night as Vaeth made an ice move in the zone before sending a pass over to Martin who hammered the puck into the wide open net for his 11th of the year. Tatro picked up the secondary assist on the final goal of the night as the top line of himself, Vaeth and Martin combined for 8 points on the evening.
It's the second time the Pistons have scored 7 goals in a home game which gives everyone who attended the game free pancakes.
Matt Radomsky finished with 20 saves as he continues his recent hot streak after being named the MJHL's top goalie for the month of October.
Steinbach's power play went 2-3 while the penalty kill was a perfect 3-3. Shots were also in favor of the Pistons 37-22.
MJHL Finals Rematch
There was a different feel heading into Sunday's contest vs the Virden Oil Capitals, the first time the two teams have met since the MJHL finals last year. While the pre-game buzz and emotion may have been lacking a bit, it didn't take long for both teams to crank it up several notches in what finished as a 3-1 Pistons win.
The opening period had a few chances for both teams but Virden may have had the edge in chances rattling a pair of shots off posts.
After a scoreless opening period, Steinbach struck first.
On a power play, Steinbach turned up the pressure and it resulted in Brady Tatro scoring his 13th the year on a rebound to make it 1-0. Tristan Culleton and Declan Graham had the assists on the opening goal.
Max Neil provided a bit of fireworks with a solid scrap in the period as we went up against Virden's Keagan Morrison that saw Neil get the easy decision in the short but spirited tilt.
The Pistons held the edge in shots 18-6 in the middle frame and took that 1-0 lead into the intermission.
Early in the third, Aiden Wagner scored his 3rd of the year after a scramble in front to push the lead to 2-0. Troy Beauchemin and Marcel Berube had the assists.
Jack Killroy gave Steinbach a three goal lead as he snapped off a wrister that found the back of the net for his second of the year and second in as many games to make it 3-0. Boedey Vaeth had the lone assist on the insurance marker.
Virden scored on a power play to break the shutout bid but that's as close as they would get as the horn sounded to signal a 3-1 win for the Pistons.
Matt Radomsky made several big saves in the game as he was named the games first star after making 21 saves on the night, good for his 10th win of the year. The 19-year-old stud net-minder trimmed his Goals Against Average to a measly 1.98 while increasing his save percentage to .923 which puts him right on top of the MJHL in the goalie stats.
Steinbach welcomes in the Portage Terriers on Wednesday night. It's the final time these two teams will meet until the second last game of the season. Steinbach leads the season series 3-1.
The net road game is Friday night as the Pistons visit the Dauphin Kings. The game will be broadcast on MIX 96 and SteinbachOnline.com with the pre-game show at 7:15 pm and puck drop at 7:30 pm.