It has truly been a dream season. And it will keep right on going.
The Steinbach Pistons are back on top of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League, as they capped off an historic season with a 2-1 Game 6 victory to beat the Virden Oil Capitals in the best-of-7 MJHL Final.
Mid-season acquisition Brendan Martin scored the winner for Steinbach with 4:25 to go in the first period. Matthew Thiessen made 25 saves in the victory as the Pistons rallied from a 0-2 deficit in the series to win four straight and take home their 2nd Turnbull Cup in franchise history back to Steinbach.
Riley McVeigh kept the Oil Caps in it all game, stopping 28 of 30 Piston shots.
It was Virden that got on the board first 14:18 in, as Ben Dalke wristed one from the left faceoff dot past the glove of Thiessen for the 1-0 lead. A couple of first on this goal, as it was Dalke’s first point of the series and the first power play goal that Virden has scored against Steinbach in this final series. Rylee Zimmer and Kirklan Lycar assisted on Dalke’s 8th goal of the postseason.
But the Pistons did what they have done seemingly all season; respond quickly to opposition goals. 36 seconds after Dalke’s goal, another mid-season acquisition Riese Gaber walked out in front of McVeigh and beat him blocker side to tie it. Gaber scored his 4th of the playoffs from Jack Johnson and it was 1-1.
Then 41 seconds after Gaber’s tying goal, Martin gave the Pistons the lead for good as his shot bounced around the crease and went in past McVeigh. Tristan Culleton and Daniel McKitrick assisted on the game-winner, Martin’s 3rd of the postseason.
The Pistons came close to extending the lead when Brady Tatro beat McVeigh in the second period, but not the short-side post. Virden had a chance to equalize to begin the third, but Landyn Cochrane’s glanced off of the top of the cross bar.
No matter however, the Pistons kept the lead with lockdown defensive play and a huge penalty kill with 3:35 left to go to win it all.
The Pistons went 0 for 5 on the power play, while Virden went 1 for 4
UP NEXT: The Pistons will await the winner of the SJHL Canalta Cup Final between the Estevan Bruins and the Nipawin Hawks for the 2018 Anavet Cup. Nipawin leads the series 3-2 with Game 6 coming on Sunday. The Pistons will host Games 1 and 2 on next Friday and Saturday, April 27 and 28th.