Courtesy of Steinbachonline.com – Written by Dave Anthony
The Steinbach Pistons bounced back after suffering their first losses of the season with a 5-2 win over the Winnipeg Blues at the MTS Iceplex on Thursday night.
Both teams came out in the first period with a bang as the Blues scored just 47 seconds into the first but the Pistons Julien Koga quickly responded with a nice wrist shot from the slot. Jordan Bochinski and Mark Taraschuk picked up the assists. Steinbach outshot Winnipeg 14-4 and controlled the play for long stretches, but the period ended 1-1.
In the second, Steinbach got a much-needed power play goal when some good work from Will Koop freed up the puck in the corner for Mack Graham who slid a perfect backdoor pass to a waiting Bradley Schoonbaert who made no mistake pushing the Pistons ahead 2-1.
“I think we got great coaches that help us with the power play.” Graham said after the game. “Playing with Koop and Schoonbaert really helps, they’re always in the right place and it’s been great playing with them so far.”
Local product Vaughn Dupre scored less than five minutes later after picking up a loose puck in the crease with assists going to Troy Williams and Taraschuk. Winnipeg answered back with a late goal and the period came to an end showing the score 3-2 for Steinbach.
Both teams had some chances in the third period, but it wasn’t until late when Taraschuk rifled a wrister from the point that found the back of the net to make it 4-2 Steinbach.
It was a bit of a rough game for Taraschuk, so to see that goal go in late in the hockey game was extra satisfying. “First period was a little slow, we gave up that goal early, and that was on me,” Taraschuk said post game surrounded by smiling family members. “It was a relief (when he saw the puck go in), a bit of a rough start to the night but in the second half we just kept things simple and then things usually go right.”
Tyson McConnell was credited with the only assist, and then Graham sealed the game with an empty-netter, unassisted to seal a 5-2 win.
Roman Bengert picked up his league leading 12th win of the year. The shots (according to the MJHL website which is believed to have been put in reverse by mistake) show the shots on goal 29-24 Blues but should be 29-24 Steinbach. The power play finished 1-6 and the penalty kill went 3-3 including a big 5-on-3 kill that didn’t surrender a shot on goal.
The Pistons head back home to the cozy confines of the T.G. Smith Centre where a fan base has been eagerly awaiting their return. They will welcome in the Virden Oil Capitals on Friday night and also the Waywayseecappo Wolverines on Sunday.