Will Koop had himself a night, scoring a career-high four goals as the Steinbach Pistons defeated the Dauphin Kings 7-2 Saturday night.
Jack Johnson helped out by assisting on all four Koop goals. And linemate Riese Gaber also had three assists for a combined total of 11 points for the line. Matthew Thiessen got the start in goal for Steinbach, and he made 23 saves in his 27th win of the season. Brennan Kitchen recorded 38 saves in the loss for Dauphin.
“It feels good, but there’s no way I’m going to get four goals without my linemates,” Koop said after the game. “Johnson and Gaber played unreal today. They were finding me in the soft spots, and I was lucky enough to put them in the net.”
It was the Kings that got on the board first, as Daniel McKitrick took a double-minor high-sticking penalty, and Kings captain Brendan Arnold buried his 7th of the season shortly after to give Dauphin an early lead. Kyle Oleksiuk and Landon Lushanko picked up the assists.
Bradley Schoonbaert responded for the Pistons on a power play of their own, as he snapped one past the blocker to tie the game. It’s Schoonbaert’s 36th of the season from Mark Taraschuk at 5:31. 17 seconds after, Koop scored his first from Johnson and Brendan Martin to give the Pistons a 2-1 lead after 20 minutes.
In the second, Koop took a cross-ice pass from Johnson and one-timed it past Kitchen for a 3-1 lead. Late in the frame, the Pistons scored 3 goals in 1:04, beginning with Brendan Martin taking a no-look backhand pass from Daniel McKitrick and tapping it in at 18:20. Easton Bennett then one-timed a shot in the slot past Kitchen for his 13th of the season from Brady Tatro and Tanner Mole. And Koop deflected a Declan Graham slap-pass into the net for his hat-trick goal. It was 6-1 for the Pistons after 40 minutes of play.
In the third, Kyle Oleksiuk scored for Dauphin on a two-man advantage to pull the Kings to within 4 of Steinbach. Koop sent the fans home with free pancakes with 28 seconds left for his 4th of the game to give Steinbach the 7-2 win. The four goals on the night gives Koop 28 goals on the season.
SCHOONBAERT BREAKS AND TIES RECORDS
With his first period goal, Bradley Schoonbaert set an all-time record for goals in a season with 36. He broke former Pistons captain Tyler Penner, who had 35 goals in the 2015-16 season. Schoonbaert also tied Dan Taillefer’s record of career goals by a Pistons player (90)
The Pistons went 1 for 3 on the PP, while the Kings were 2 for 7 on their man advantages.
UP NEXT: The Pistons’ final home game of the season is on Wednesday, when the Portage Terriers come to town for their first game at the TG Smith Centre since November. You can purchase your game day tickets online anytime at Steinbachpistons.ca.