The Pistons hit the road for what is already their second and final northern trip of the 2023-24 season. The Pistons will take on the Swan Valley Stampeders on Friday, make the drive up to The Pas after the game and play the Blizzard Saturday night before making the 8 hour drive home. All in comfort of course thanks to our transportation experts at Compass Coach Lines.
Steinbach is coming off of an impressive 2-0 weekend, outscoring their opponents Selkirk and Portage 12-1. Both games followed a similar pattern. A quiet uneventful start in the first, an explosion of offense in the second, an early goal in the 3rd, and another at the end as the cherry on top. The lone goal the Pistons allowed was a powerplay goal 54 seconds into the game in Portage.
This was a weekend the Pistons coaching staff was proud of. The pace, effort, attention to detail was all there and the results reflected that. Although not all games can have the same outcome, Paul Dyck and Calvin Bugyik will be expecting the same type of effort this weekend as they look to come away with 4 points.
Stopping them are two teams that have given the Pistons a run for their money this season. Although Steinbach came out with the win, the Stampeders kept it tight in their last meeting just two weeks ago in La Broquerie keeping with the final score of 2-1. A goaltending change is what the Stamps needed and Gage Stewart brought them that stability making some big time saves in that game to keep his team in it.
Meanwhile, The Blizzard and Pistons are yet to have a game settled in regulation. In their first meeting, the Pistons took the game in a shootout but Blizzard got the better of the boys in blue in overtime at the MJHL showcase after tying the game up late. If you give the Blizzard an inch, they’ll take a mile. When they see an opportunity they move quickly and don’t shy away from shooting the puck. The Blizzard also most notably handed Winkler their second regulation loss of the season last weekend which came as a surprise to many. If the Pistons come out with the same level of pace and intensity as they did last weekend, they should like the end result.
One news item out of the Pistons locker room is that defenseman Jack Cook is out of the lineup for at least a month due to an upper body injury suffered near the end of the game last Sunday in Portage. Terriers forward Brendan Holba was given a boarding penalty as a result of the hit and upon review was awarded a 3 game suspension. A big loss on the Pistons blue line but a chance for rookie defenseman Chad Cote to get some reps and find a groove. He’s slated to be paired with shutdown defender Spencer Penner who was out last weekend due to illness.
PISTONS: PP 19/80 – 23.8% PK 88/98 – 89.8%
BLIZZARD: PP 13/89 – 14.6% PK 67/77 – 87.0%
STAMPEDERS: PP 10/74 – 13.5% PK 77/93 – 82.8%
PLAYERS TO WATCH
PISTONS: Brandon Funk
Brandon finds himself 16th in the MJHL in scoring with 9 goals and 9 assists. He seems to be finding a groove and with that, finding ways to get on the scoresheet. After a long bus trip, his speed is just what the Pistons might need to get going. He is one of six Pistons players in the top 20 MJHL points list.
BLIZZARD: Tomas Anderson
He was the player to watch from the Blizzard last time and we’ll say it again because his play has earned it. Anderson made some big time saves versus the Pistons in their last two meetings and you can likely expect no different on Saturday night. He was recently named one of 3 MJHL Stars of the week along with Pistons defenseman Noah Szabo.
STAMPEDERS: Trey Sauder
The 20 year old is off to a good start this season with 6 goals and 10 assists so far. The local Swan River product may look to be the difference maker against the Pistons on Friday night on home ice in front of his friends and family.
Puck drop at the Swan River Centennial is at 7:00pm on Friday and 7:00pm again on Saturday at the Roy H. Johnston Arena in the Pas. Catch both games on Flo Hockey or listen to voice of the Pistons Dave Anthony over at DAbroadcasting.mixlr.com.
Road Report brought to you by Compass Coach Lines. Visit them at www.compasscoachlines.com.