After only one goal was scored in the first two periods between the two teams, the Steinbach Pistons stormed out of the gate in the third period and nabbed four goals in the final 11:30 to beat the Winnipeg Blues 4-2 Tuesday night at the RINK Training Centre.
Playing their first game in almost a week after two games on the weekend were postponed, the Pistons built up their legs as the game wore on, and eventually wore down the Blues and starting goaltender Dante Giannuzzi. Matt Lenz didn’t face much action at times but was solid when called upon, picking up his 7th win of the season with 18 saves on the night.
It was the Blues that got on the board first as Mikol Sartor beat Lenz in tight on a pass from Mitchell Joss for his 3rd of the season 6:55 into the game.
The Pistons came out slow but were able to slowly build some momentum in the second period with four big penalty kills that allowed them to stay within reach. Steinbach went on the power play in the third period and finally beat Giannuzzi, as Kyle Bettens wired a wrister glove side from the left wing to tie it up with 11:22 left. Carter Loney and Max Neill picked up the assists on Kyle’s fourth goal of the season.
The lid burst on the low scoring affair, as both teams combined for four goals in a 2:05 late in the third period. Steinbach was able to take the lead as Rylan Clemons worked his way into the Blues zone and fed a centering pass to Jackson Kobelka. Kobelka was hooked down in front and the puck glanced off of him and trickled past the red line, giving the Okotoks native his first goal as a Piston with 5:51 to go.
The Pistons would go up by two almost a minute later as Zach Purcell fed Codey Behun in the slot, and the former Blue would haunt his old team by snapping the puck into the back of the net for his 5th of the season with 4:54 to go.
Brayden Foreman of the Blues would cut the Steinbach lead in half just 30 seconds later, as he worked his way to the front of the net and jammed his own rebound past a sprawling Lenz. But just thirty-three seconds later, a Blues defender made a careless pass in his own zone that was picked off by Kyle Bettens. Bettens fed Ty Naaykens in the slot, and Naaykens beat Giannuzzi past the blocker to restore the Pistons’ two goal lead. Carter Loney would add the bonus helper on Naaykens’ 3rd goal of the season.
The Pistons would shut Winnipeg down the rest of the way and skate away with two points in the bank and a 4-2 win.
Tanner Mole (Lower Body Injury), Joey Dosan, and Jack Kilroy (both upper body injuries) did not dress for the Pistons in this game. Defenceman Christian Riemer made his return to the lineup in this game and played solid minutes on the Pistons’ top pair with captain Declan Graham.
The Pistons were 1 for 3 on the power play and killed off all five penalties they faced.
UP NEXT: Steinbach returns to the TG Smith Centre for a matchup with the Waywayseecappo Wolverines on Friday night. The puck drops at 7:30 pm, catch the action on HockeyTV or head online to purchase your tickets at Steinbachpistons.ca/tickets.