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MJHL Finals Preview

The Steinbach Pistons will be facing off against the Dauphin Kings in the MJHL finals for the coveted Turnbull Memorial Trophy. Game one is set for Friday night in Steinbach at the TG Smith Centre.

Season Series:
November 23 – 6-2 Dauphin win
December 3 – 4-2 Pistons win
December 4 – 5-3 Pistons win

Special Teams (versus each other):

PISTONS: PP 3/9 – 33.3% PK 5/6 – 83.3%
KINGS: PP 1/6 – 16.7% PK 6/9 – 66.7%

The Steinbach Pistons are coming off beating the Virden Oil Capitals in 6 games. Steinbach’s top line of Birnie, Power and Pepper has been firing on all cylinders, accumulating 20 goals thus far in the playoffs. With a great lineup top to bottom, in recent games all lines have been contributing on offence and that will need to continue going into the finals. With Steinbach’s fast style of play, with quick breakouts and good zone time, Steinbach will be a tough team to match up against. Mid way through the previous series, the Pistons made a lineup change starting Simon Harkness for the final 4 games of the series. Harkness went 3-1 and boasted a 2.51 GAA and a .904 SV%. The Pistons will need to make sure their play is consistent and going hard for the full 60 minutes as they matchup against a respectable opponent in the Dauphin Kings.

The Dauphin Kings beat the Winkler Flyers in 5 games to move on to the MJHL finals. Defence has been a big asset for the Kings as Parker Malchuk and Colby Jaquet are first and third in team scoring this playoffs with 15 and 13 points each. Dauphin has strong goaltending in MJHL goaltender of the year Carson Cherapak who has a 2.43 GAA and a 0.919 SV% in the playoffs. Dauphin has made sure to capitalize on opportunities, as they have a great powerplay that is at 26.9% so far in the playoffs. Dauphin will need to make sure to disrupt the Pistons play, winning each puck battle and disrupting breakouts to secure the upper hand is this very close matchup as the team’s finished first and second place in the regular season.

“We just want to stick to our game plan, playing hard, fast and let the skill take over after that” forward Zach Power commented on the team’s mindset going into the upcoming series. “We want to stay focused and play with desperation every shift.”

Power commented on the fun and exciting atmosphere to team hopes to have in the finals “The fans can expect an exciting and fun atmosphere. They can expect to see a hungry and determined team that wants to bring the Turnbull Cup back to Steinbach.”

“The team is obviously very excited for the opportunity to play for the league title” Head Coach and GM Paul Dyck stated. “It’s every team’s hopes to be playing for the title when they look ahead during training camp. The guys know the amount of work that lies ahead and that the Kings will be our toughest opponent that we have faced thus far in the playoffs. That being said they are excited for that challenge.”

“We have grown as a team as we have advanced in the playoffs” Dyck stated. “Each series has been its own animal and we have found different ways to win and at times adapted our game. We’ve seen the ups and downs that a series can bring, and we should be better prepared to manage what lies ahead” commented Dyck on what the team can build off of from previous series.