It was a solid bounce-back effort for the Steinbach Pistons, who got back in the win column with a 5-1 win over the OCN Blizzard Friday night.
Looking for a better result after last night’s loss to Virden the Pistons outshot the Blizzard 41-26 in the game and got just what they were looking for. Dante Giannuzzi was solid with 25 saves on the night, while OCN goalie Danick Rodrigue stopped 35 of 41 shots in the loss.
The Pistons got on the board first, as Max Neill provided the traffic in front on a Christian Riemer point shot, and the Regina got the shot through Rodrigue. Jackson Kobelka got the assist on Riemer’s 2nd of the season at the 4:54 mark of the first.
OCN looked to have tied up the game halfway through the first, but a goal by Jaden Pashe was called back as it was deemed he made incidental contact with Giannuzzi. The Pistons would take advantage and got the next goal on a 2-on-1 rush. David Queree fed the puck to Ty Naaykens, who in turn gave it back to Queree for the backhand finish to give Steinbach a 2-0 lead.
The Blizzard would cut the lead in half just nine seconds into the game on a nice wrister by Sequoia Swan. OCN put the pressure on in the first half of the second period, but the Pistons got through it with good defensive zone play.
Steinbach would net three goals in the final 10 minutes of the second period, and the first of those came on the first power play of the game. Declan Graham threw a shot from the point that beat a screened Rodrigue for his first of the season, with Carter Loney and Ty Naaykens picking up the assists at the 10:35 mark.
Loney would add to the Pistons’ lead three minutes later as he went top shelf on the OCN netminder for a 4-1 advantage. Naaykens picked up his third helper of the night on Loney’s 10th goal on the campaign.
Steinbach would conclude their outburst in the second with another power play goal, as Max Neill tipped a Zach Purcell shot past Rodrigue for a 5-1 Pistons lead. Codey Behun added the bonus assist on Neill’s 6th of the season with 1:21 to go in period 2.
There was no scoring in the third period, but that was okay with the road Pistons as they skated away with two points to remain in first place in the MJHL standings.
Around 60 family members and friends were in attendance to cheer on hometown boy Bryce Young, who made his return to The Pas for his first game at the Gordon Lathlin Memorial Centre since the 2017-18 season. Young electrified the crowd with three quality scoring chances in the third but went scoreless. Check out the family photo after the game on the Pistons’ Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages!
The Pistons went 2 for 4 with the man advantage and did not allow a power play goal for the first time in six games as they went a perfect 2 for 2.
UP NEXT: These same two teams will meet again in OCN tomorrow night at 7:00 pm. Catch the game on HockeyTV, or listen live to MIX 96 and Steinbachonline.com with Dave Anthony on the call!