A fast and furious bout between the two teams at the top of the MJHL standings saw the Steinbach Pistons defeat the Winkler Flyers 4-3 in overtime. Mack’s 24th goal of the season was deflected past Flyers keeper, Cole Weaver to break the deadlock 2;37 into the overtime period.
A quick and physical game was taken to early by the Flyers when forward Tanner Lewis scored on the powerplay in the closing minutes of the first period. The extended man advantage was due to a boarding major given to Steinbach’s Braden Purtill. The Pistons played over 45 minutes with just ten forwards due to this penalty call.
The Pistons coming off Friday’s victory over the Stampeders were understandably a bit stretched. This led to more than the usual number of scoring chances for the opposition.
Coming into the second period behind, Steinbach stepped up their game and scored two in the second. The first by Bradley Schoonbaert and the second by Mark Taraschuk.
Both teams played quite physical and it led to several penalties. Winkler was given a long powerplay late in the 3rd after Will Koop was given a double-minor for roughing. Roman Bengert stood his ground, and played a relatively clean game, but made a huge save on the power play nullifying a bad turnover and an open net.
Bengert faced significantly more shots tonight than his opposing netminder, and was up to the challenge, saving 32 of the 35 he faced and earning his 22nd win of the campaign.
Mack’s game winner in overtime was set up by Bradley Schoonbaert who found Joe Leonidas open at the point. Leonidas fired towards the net, and Graham got the telling touch to seal the victory.
Steinbach welcomes OCN on Wednesday and then Dauphin on Sunday to the T. G. Smith Centre looking to continue their winning streak. The Pistons will be making up the game that was cancelled earlier in the season due to weather, against the Flyers in Winkler on the 17th of January.
Three Stars of the Game
1st: Mack Graham (Steinbach) Game Winner, and an assist.
2nd: Vaughn Dupre (Steinbach) Superb assist to tie the game on the Powerplay
3rd: Tyson McConnell (Steinbach) Great Performance in the dirty areas and at the faceoff dot.