The Pistons were back in action on Friday night after the contest with the Winkler Flyers was postponed due to weather. Steinbach’s Roman Bengert got the start and was in total control from the initial drop of the puck, saving all 36 shots he faced. The Pistons would end up putting in five past a pair of Selkirk goalies to seal the 5-0 victory.
Bengert is tied for the league lead in shutouts now at four with OCN’s Emilen Boily, and was named the game’s first star. Selkirk’s biggest threat to break the shutout came in the first period when they had a lengthy 5-on-3. During this time, Bengert made several big stops.
Captain Jordan Bochinski scored the opening goal at 9:23 of the first period. It was set up by a pass from Drew Anderson. Bochinski said after the game,” It was important to get our legs going and that got started with a great play on the wall by Drew, and I was able to finish. It was a good start for us and got followed up after that.”
The Pistons quickly followed the opening marker with two more in quick succession. Mack Graham scored his league leading 20th of the season, assisted by Wyatt Hinson at 10:50 of the first period. Landon Plett also added to his goal tally with a third Pistons goal, his was assisted by Tyler Anderson and Jack Johnson.
These three early goals would see Selkirk starter, Brett Friesen pulled just fourteen minutes into the contest. Friesen’s performance was not what the Steelers needed in such an important game for them.
Selkirk’s top netminder Hayden Dola would replace Friesen, and would put a bit of stability into a shaky defense for the Steelers from this point on.
After the third goal, the Pistons struggled to create any prime chances on the newly introduced netminder for over twenty minutes of game time. However, at 14:16 in the 2nd period the Pistons would break through for the team’s fourth of the evening through a rocket shot by Joseph Leonidas. This was Leonidas’ first Pistons goal after coming over from the Flin Flon Bombers on trade deadline day.
After the fourth goal, Bochinski ran into Dola, and was immediately retaliated against. This brought a scrum to the far side boards where Leonidas and Co. were celebrating the goal. The situation would be resolved with Bochinski receiving two minors and the Steelers going on the powerplay.
Tyler Anderson would put the finishing touches on a game dominated by the Pistons who played hard for sixty minutes. Anderson’s backhand goal earned him his third point of the night, extending the lead to five.
The third period saw relentless forechecking by the Pistons, and a lack of intensity from the Steelers. In Bochinski’s post game interview he emphasized on how important it was to have such a solid effort. “We played a full sixty minutes, and played hard in the third to shut them down. We need to carry that into tomorrow, get our legs under us in the first and take it from there.”
The Pistons play the Steelers again on Saturday night in Selkirk. Followed up by the Old Dutch Showcase at the MTS Iceplex next week. The Pistons play their last home game before the Christmas break on Sunday the 18th of December against the Virden Oil Capitals at the T.G. Smith Centre.
Three Stars of the Game
1st Star: Roman Bengert (Steinbach) 36 Save Shutout Win
2nd Star: Tyler Anderson (Steinbach) 1 Goal 2 Assists.
3rd Star: Braden Purtill (Steinbach) 2 Assists