Kyle Bettens scored the game-winning goal with 6:34 left in the third period to lift the Steinbach Pistons past the Winkler Flyers 3-2 on Opening Night at the foggy TG Smith Centre.
It was an eerie night due to the humidity and rain outside in Steinbach as thunderstorms rolled through the Southeast, which created a fog bank that lingered inside the TG Smith. But the Pistons defence was able to lock down the Flyers in the third period for the win.
Matt Lenz looked sharp and picked up the win with 27 saves on the night. Flyers goalie Dorrin Luding was equal to the test by stopping 43 of 46 Pistons shots, but walks away with the loss.
Once the action got underway after the pre-game festivities, which included player introductions and presentation of the CJHL Declaration of Principles award by CJHL President Brent Ladds, the Pistons came out flying and took a 2-0 lead before the 10 minute mark of the game.
Jack Kilroy got the Pistons’ first goal of 2019-20 when he tipped in a Declan Graham point shot 5:37 into the game. Troy Beauchemin picked up the assist on the Denver product’s first goal of the season.
Rookie Carter Loney, who Pistons fans became familiar with a year ago as an AP, doubled Steinbach’s lead to 2-0 when he snapped a shot past the blocker of Luding at the 7:28 mark of the first period. Kyle Bettens and newcomer Christian Riemer picked up the helpers on Loney’s first of the season.
The Flyers would come back with two goals of their own to tie the game early in the second period. Alex Cattani and Kyle Lamoureux would score 1:09 apart and the game was 2-2 just before the six minute mark of the middle period.
The Pistons would dominate the shot clock, but couldn’t find their way past Luding. But Bettens would notch the winner with 6:34 left in the third, as Loney’s back pass hit the second-year Piston who would go on to snipe a wrister past the Flyer goalie’s glove for a 3-2 lead.
Matt Lenz would fight through the fog to shut down the Flyers and give Steinbach a opening night 3-2 victory.
Both teams went 0 for 5 with the man advantage.
UP NEXT: These two teams will meet for the fourth straight time (including the last two preseason games) tomorrow night in Winkler. Catch the action on HockeyTV with the puck drop scheduled for 7:30 pm.