Danny Pion broke out with his first career MJHL hat trick, and he also added an assist in the Steinbach Pistons 7-2 win over the Virden Oil Capitals on Saturday night.
The Pistons started off on the right foot with just over a minute in, Will Koop struck for his 15th of the season with the assists going to Joe Leonidas and Darby Gula. The lead didn’t last as Virden answered just over a minute after the Koop goal to tie the game. A power play gave Steinbach the lead back, as a point shot from Tyler Anderson found the back of the net. Anderson’s 6th of the year was assisted by Mack Graham and Koop.
The score was 2-1 in favour of the road team Pistons after 20 minutes of play.
It’s when Pion and linemates Wyatt Hinson and Tyson McConnell took over.
Pion’s first of the night and first as a Steinbach Piston came off some great work by the whole line. Hinson and McConnell picked up the assists on the goal. The 18 year-old Pion, who hails from Gatineau, QC, talked about his feelings after getting that first goal. “I was a bit snake bit.” Pion said, with a smile. “It’s a relief. I’ve been working hard, and it was great to contribute to a big team win.”
Hinson, who had a game himself, picked up his 6th of the year after he converted on a Declan Graham point shot to make it 4-2 Steinbach. Pion collected the secondary assist.
Again, Virden roared back and quickly scored to make it a 4-2 hockey game.
Before the period came to an end, Pion scored his second of the game with Hinson and McConnell again picking up the assists. For the trio, they put up 8 combined points in the second period alone, propelling Steinbach to a 5-2 lead after two periods.
The Pistons started the third period short a forward as Mack Graham didn’t come out for the final period of regulation. Head coach Paul Dyck shared what he knew about the situation after the game. “I’m not really sure at this point. I talked with Jeff (Eidse, athletic trainer), and he thought it best to hold Mack out. We’ll re-evaluate on Monday.”
A harmless looking shot from Pion found the back of the net for the third time in the game, as he snapped a shot that found a hole through the Oil Capitals goalie for a 6-2 lead. Pion’s hat trick goal was unassisted. The scoring wasn’t done as Hinson collected his second of the game from Bradley Schoonbaert and Leonidas.
For a second consecutive game, Steinbach skated away with a 7-2 win on the road.
The power play clicked again finishing 1-4 while the penalty kill was strong finishing 2-2. Roman Bengert matched his win total from last season, now standing at 25. Bengert made 30 saves on the night in another, typical solid effort from the 20 year-old Nova Scotia native.
Steinbach is set to take on Winkler in a return matchup after the Flyers ended the Pistons 8 game win streak back on Tuesday night. Dyck talked about what will sure be an emotional game. “We need to keep that stuff in check. We need to keep to our game. I think we’ll be ready to go and have a lot more compete than we did the last time we met. We’ll be ready.”
The Pistons will play 4 games in 5 nights, including two back to back games. Steinbach vs. Winkler will be on Mix 96 and SteinbachOnline.com on Tuesday, with the pre-game show at 7:15 pm and 7:30 pm puck drop.