Local product Scott Petkau, the former star of the SRSS Sabres, scored the winning goal with seven minutes remaining, to propel the Steinbach Pistons to a 4-3 victory over the Swan Valley Stampeders Friday night at Swan River.
The Pistons, still perfect this Manitoba Junior Hockey League season, improved to 13-0 with the victory as the Pistons, the number one team ranked team in the Canadian Junior Hockey League, remain the only undefeated team in the country.
Julien Koga opened the scoring for the Pistons just 15 seconds after the opening face-off and the Stampeders tied it on the powerplay in the opening minute of the second. Tyson McConnell made it 2-1 Steinbach as he scored with 24 seconds left in the middle period.
William Koop gave the Pistons a 3-1 advantage two minutes into the third, which would turn out to be a riveting period as the two teams would later combine to score three goals in 57 seconds. Stampeder goals just 36 seconds apart suddenly had this game tied until Petkau potted the winner just 21 seconds after the Stampeders had tied it.
The Pistons outshot the Stampeders 38-33 in the game as Roman Bengert picked up the win for the Pistons. Swan Valley drops to 3-9-1 on the season.
Defenceman Darby Gula, another Steinbach product, continued his strong play as he picked up two more assists for the Pistons as he now has 12 points in 13 games.
The Pistons will now travel to OCN for two more games this weekend against the Blizzard, including tonight at 7:00 p.m. and then Sunday at 2:00 p.m.
Second-place OCN blanked Neepawa 8-0 last night, improving to 11-4 on the season, four points back of the leading Pistons. Clearly, the Pistons have their work cut out for them if they are to leave OCN with their unbeaten record intact.