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Pistons Back in First After Win Over Blues

Tanner Mole had two goals, and Dante Giannuzzi stood tall with 35 saves as the Steinbach Pistons defeated the Winnipeg Blues 4-2 Tuesday night at the Rink Training Centre.

With the win the Pistons have moved back into first place in the standings, one point clear of the Portage Terriers.

It was a good defensive battle in the first period with a lot of outside shots, but no quality scoring chances in the frame. Both Giannuzzi and Blues goalie Cooper Hatfield stopped all 21 shots combined against them.

While shorthanded, Tanner Mole was able to break the deadlock early in the second period as he sprung himself on a partial breakaway. The Pistons assistant captain cut across from the right side all the way to his backhand and slid the puck underneath for his 2nd goal of the season, and a 1-0 Steinbach lead at the 4:50 mark.

The Pistons would get a chance to extend the lead as Bryce Young was hauled down on a clear cut breakaway. Young would not let that opportunity slip away as he worked in, faked a wrister, and beat Hatfield top-shelf with a backhander for his 5th of the season, giving the Pistons a 2-0 lead with 11:03 to play in period 2.

The Blues would cut the lead in half 1:56 into the third on a backhand goal in front of Giannuzzi by Winnipeg’s leading scorer Mikol Sartor.

Giannuzzi would come up big time after time in the third period as he kept his team out in the lead with some big-time stops under some Winnipeg pressure.

Steinbach would get their two-goal lead back as Kyle Bettens intercepted a Blues breakout attempt, and Zach Purcell wired one from the slot for a 3-1 Pistons advantage. Bettens and Codey Behun would pick up the apples on Purcell’s 10th goal on the campaign with 4:48 to play.

Winnipeg would pull their goalie with 2:55 left in the third period,after a couple of unsuccessful attempts at the open cage, Mole fired the puck in from his own blue line for his second goal of the night with 1:48 to play. Ty Naaykens would notch the assist on the empty net goal by Tanner Mole.

Braden Fischer would make it interesting as he potted a rebound with 1:18 to go, allowing the Blues to once again pull Hatfield to try and tie up the game. But Giannuzzi and the Pistons defense would not budge as they would pick up the two points.

SPECIAL TEAMS

The Pistons went 0 for 2 with the man advantage while Winnipeg went 0 for 2.

UP NEXT: Steinbach is back at it tomorrow night with a matchup against the Selkirk Steelers at the TG Smith. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30 pm, get your tickets for that game already by heading online to Steinbachpistons.ca/tickets.