Despite the Pistons hard push in the dying minutes of the 3rd period, the Winkler Flyers held onto their 4-3 lead to hand the Pistons their first loss of the pre-season on Saturday night.
The Pistons were the first to open the scoring less than 5 minutes into the MennoBowl matchup with a great shot from Pistons forward Quinton Pepper on the powerplay. Recently acquired defenseman Logan Boutras had the assist on the goal along with Steinbach native Ty Paisley. The Pistons held onto their lead for all but a few more minutes until Flyers tied the game up and headed into the first intermission up 3-1.
Coming back in the second, forward Cole Fournier brought the Pistons back within one but the Flyers struck back all but a minute later to retain their two goal lead. The Pistons cut the Flyers two goal lead in half by the end of the period thanks to a goal by Landmark’s Bryce Warkentine.
Steinbach’s penalty kill was 100 percent successful and their powerplay scored on one of four attempts.
Despite Steinbach’s best efforts to tie the game in the third, they were no match for Winkler hometown netminder Malachi Klassen who stood his ground and help the Flyers win their first of the pre season.
The shots of Saturday night’s contest were 32-29 in favour of the Flyers.
Head Coach Paul Dyck offers these comments on his team’s performance through the opening week of pre-season. “We have seen a group of players bring a lot of energy the ice. At times, it has been evident that the majority of the players have not played a lot of hockey in the past year,” he shares. “That being said, they are eager to learn and the exhibition games give them a little more experience before we play for keeps on September 17th.”
Dyck says these exhibition games are important for he and his staff as they have not seen many of these players play live prior to camp. He adds they have noticed the players starting to feel more comfortable on the ice and with the rest of the group which is a good sign moving forward.
The Pistons are back on the ice Friday September 10th as they head to Selkirk to open up a weekend series with the Steelers. Then on Saturday the Steelers come to Steinbach to wrap up the pre-season. The Pistons open up their regular season on the 17th in Selkirk with the home opener the following night in Steinbach, again, versus the Steelers. Puck drop for all four games is at 7:30pm.