Will Koop, Brendan Martin, and Jack Johnson scored the goals for Steinbach, as the Pistons made it 8 straight wins heading into the Christmas break with a 3-2 win over the Virden Oil Capitals Thursday night.
Matthew Thiessen got the start in goal, and stopped 30 of 32 shots in the win. Oil Caps netminder Riley McVeigh made 22 saves in the loss, as the Pistons have won all four meetings with Virden this season.
The play was even through the first 15 minutes as both teams felt each other out. When Landyn Cochrane took a slashing penalty at the 14:01 mark of the period, the Pistons capitalized as Koop took a pass from Daniel McKitrick and buried the puck past the blocking arm of McVeigh for the 1-0 lead. Darby Gula picked up his first of two assists on the night on Koop’s 16th of the season as well.
The 2nd period began much like the first, with both teams struggling through the neutral zone. Virden equalized at 15:28 of the second, as Jayden Wojciehowski scored his 1st of the season from Rylee Zimmer and Cochrane. The tie only lasted 14 seconds, as Brendan Martin lasered a shot from the left side past the mask of McVeigh to make it 2-1. Gula and Declan Graham picked up assists on Martin’s 7th goal on the campaign.
Jack Johnson extended the Pistons lead in the third period, as he worked hard in front of the net and buried the eventual game-winning goal with just over 7 minutes to go in the third. Tyson McConnell and Jaret Lalli had the helpers on Johnson’s 9th goal.
The Oil Capitals did not go away as Cochrane scored his 2nd goal as an Oil Cap to make it 3-2. He grabbed the puck in behind the goal after a Thiessen misplay, and tucked it in on a wrap-around.
Virden put on the pressure after scoring, grabbing quality chances in the final 5 minutes. But Thiessen and the Pistons defence held down the fort to pick up the win.
The Pistons were without captain Braden Purtill (lower body injury), and Riese Gaber (illness) for tonight’s game. Jaret Lalli played today’s game with a full cage on his helmet, he took a slap shot to the face during this past Sunday’s game against Waywayseecappo.
The Pistons were 1 for 1 on the power play, and killed off all 3 penalties they faced.
UP NEXT: The Pistons will enjoy the upcoming Christmas break, before coming back to play a home-and-home series with the Selkirk Steelers on Dec 30 and 31. You can buy game day tickets for the 30th at Steinbachpistons.ca, or one hour prior to game day.