Six different Pistons had multi-point night while the man advantage was a perfect 4 for 4 as Steinbach bounced back with a 7-5 win Saturday night over the Virden Oil Capitals.
Carter Loney led the way for the Pistons with a goal and three assists, Zach Purcell had two goals and an assist, while both Bryce Young and Ryan Butler had a goal and two assists. Matt Lenz picked up the win in goal with a 28 save performance, while Oil Caps starter Ethan Peterson stopped 30 of 37 shots in the loss.
Coming off of a highly emotional contest against the Dauphin Kings last night that resulted in a loss, the Pistons got off on the right foot as they notched their first power play goal 1:49 into tonight’s game. Dylan Cassie, skating in his 200th career MJHL game, would slap one home from the point for a 1-0 Steinbach lead, with Kyle Bettens and Bryce Young picking up the assists.
Virden would quickly tie things up on goal by Kolten Kanaski three and a half minutes later, and then the Oil Caps would take the lead with 1:23 left on a rebound goal by Drayson Collyer.
The road team would double their lead early in the second on a goal that Lenz would probably like to have back, as a soft shot by Jaxon Heeney found its way underneath the left pad of the Pistons netminder.
If Steinbach had any chance of getting back into the game, an old hockey cliché says the next goal was the biggest one. Zach Purcell would do just that, potting home a rebound off of a Caydin Cleland point shot to cut the Virden lead to 3-2 with 12:49 remaining.
The Pistons would get a golden opportunity to tie things up as the Oil Capitals would take two minor penalties from a scrum after the whistle. On the ensuing 5-on-3 PP, Declan Graham accepted a pass from Young and beat Peterson bardown to tie the game. Ryan Butler would pick up the extra apple on Graham’s 6th of the season and the 100th MJHL point of his four-year junior career.
Young would then make the Oil Caps pay for the two minor penalties, tipping a Carter Loney shot underneath Peterson just 26 seconds after the Graham goal to give Steinbach the lead back at 4-3. Codey Behun would get the extra helper on Young’s 9th on the campaign.
Purcell would nab his second of the night with 6:23 left in the frame, as he drove through the middle to the net and tipped a nice feed from Loney into the back of the net. That goal gave Purcell a team-high 29th marker on the year.
The Oil Caps didn’t go away and would equalize the game at five on goals by Collyer and Brett Paddock in the third period. Virden would halt all of their momentum soon after by taking a crucial holding penalty after Paddock’s goal.
Loney would give Steinbach the lead for good on the power play, as he stuffed the puck underneath Peterson for a 6-5 Pistons edge with 5:55 left in the game. Cassie and Young picked up the assists on Loney’s 14th goal of the season.
A minute and a half later, Ryan Butler sent the TG Smith Centre faithful home with some free pancakes. The Maple Ridge, B.C. native would beat Peterson upstairs at the side of the goal for his 4th goal as a Piston and 21st on the campaign, with Loney and Purcell notching the assists.
Steinbach would have to kill off a late penalty and the Oil Caps pulled the goalie to make it a 6-on-4 advantage. But the Pistons penalty kill came to play and killed off the remaining time to skate away with a much-needed two points.
COACH DYCK’S MILESTONE NIGHT
It was also a milestone night for the Head Coach of the Steinbach Pistons, as Paul Dyck was coaching in his 500th career MJHL game. He also won his 250th and 300th career games against the Oil Capitals as well in 2017-18 and 2018-19.
UP NEXT: It’s the annual Family Day with the Pistons game as Steinbach welcomes the Winkler Flyers to town on Monday afternoon. Puck drops at 2:30 pm and you’ll have the ability to skate with the Pistons after the game, so make sure you bring your pair of skates with you to Monday afternoon’s game!