Troy Beauchemin scored the shootout winner in the 12th round, and Matt Lenz turned aside 11 straight shooters as the Steinbach Pistons defeated the Selkirk Steelers 3-2 Tuesday night.
Lenz also picked up his 20th win of the season as he made 31 saves in a goaltending duel. Steelers goalie Levi Mitchell was equal to the task as well by stopping 40 of 42 Pistons shots but is unfortunately saddled with the loss.
The Pistons looked to make it four wins in a row since coming back from the Christmas break, but faced a Selkirk squad that were playing their first game in 2020. Selkirk looked like the fresher team in the first 10 minutes, outshooting the Pistons 9-4.
Steinbach found their legs during the back half of the frame and netted the game’s first goal with just under nine minutes to play. Carter Loney speeded down the left wing side and floated a soft pass in front for a hard charging Tanner Mole, and Mole would knock the puck past Mitchell. Caydin Cleland picked up the bonus helper on the assistant captain’s 10th goal of the season at the 11:06 mark of the first period.
The road team would double their lead to 2-0 with 2:58 to go on a picture-perfect wrist shot by Bryce Young that picked the top corner. Codey Behun and Rylan Bettens nabbled the assists on Young’s 8th of the season.
Selkirk would start to climb back into the game in the second period and got to within a goal thanks to Caiden Gault’s 15th of the season 4:31 into the middle period.
The two teams remained at the same scoreline, with the Pistons controlling the majority of the play. Steinbach had three chances on the PP and looked dangerous all night on the man advantage, but they couldn’t find a way past Mitchell and the Steelers.
Selkirk would end up equalizing with 5:30 remaining in regulation on a wrap-around goal by Tanner Pochipinski. The Pistons would get a late PP with 2:27 left in the game and threw 7 shots on Mitchell, but none beat the Steeler netminder and the game was sent to extra time.
After overtime solved nothing, a long penalty shot challenge commenced. Carter Barley beat Lenz past his right pad in the first round, but Codey Behun kept the Pistons’ hopes alive in the third round with his third shootout goal of the season in three attempts.
The next 17 shooters failed to get any rubber past Lenz and Mitchell, but Troy Beauchemin finally broke the scoreless streak as he slid the puck through the five-hole to put the Steelers on the brink. Lenz would come up big, turning aside Ryan Ostermann to send the Pistons home with the extra point and a 3-2 win.
With the two points, the Pistons are now 8 points up on Portage for first place in the MJHL standings heading into a matchup tomorrow night against the Terriers at the TG Smith.
As mentioned earlier the Pistons generated many quality chances on the power play, but couldn’t find a way through and went 0 for 6 on the night. Steinbach also went 2 for 2 on the penalty kill.
UP NEXT: The Pistons face off with the Portage Terriers in a clash of the MJHL’s top two teams in the standings. Tickets for the game are available online at Steinbachpistons.ca/tickets with the puck drop scheduled for 7:30 pm.