Darby Gula scored Steinbach’s first goal of the game and added two assists, as the Pistons overcame an early goal to defeat the Winnipeg Blues 6-1 Wednesday night at the TG Smith Centre.
In a battle between the MJHL’s top two scorers, Bradley Schoonbaert got the better of Blues F Dexter Kuczek, notching an goal and an assist in the victory. Defenceman Curtis Ireland netted his first career MJHL goal in the win as well.
Pistons’ netminder Matthew Thiessen continued his strong play to start his MJHL career, making 20 saves in the win.
“He’s playing with a lot of confidence,” assistant coach Joey Moggach said after the game. “He looks steady in the net, and that’s all you can ask for. As a player and coach, you get a lot of confidence in yourself knowing you’ve got a guy back there that’s going to make that save.”
The Blues got on the board a minute into the game, as Dale Goodbrandson capitalized on a early Piston penalty with his 8th of the season. It was the first time the Pistons had trailed in a game since October 18th vs the Portage Terriers.
That lead didn’t last long, as Gula snuck in from the left point to bury his 5th goal on the campaign on a pass from Daniel McKitrick. And then Steinbach struck with two late goals in the first period to take the lead for good. Drew Worrad tipped home a Gula pass on the PP, and Will Koop took a pass from Worrad in tight to make it 3-1.
Schoonbaert stole a puck from a Blues defender, and fired a wrist shot that beat Blues goalie Jeremy Link for Steinbach’s 4th goal. Ireland capitalized on a Blues giveaway, and fired home a howitzer from the blue line for a 5-1 lead in the 2nd period.
“I put my head down, and hoped for the best,” Ireland said. “It was a goal for our team, and that’s all that matters.”
Brady Tatro scored the only goal of the third period, as he wristed one from a bad angle for the Pistons’ sixth goal of the game.
The Pistons were 1 for 4 on the power play, and killed off 4 of 5 penalties.
UP NEXT: The Pistons are off for the weekend as they head to the University of North Dakota for a tour of their state-of-the-art hockey facilities. The break will be huge, as next week will be a big test for them with back-to-back games at home against the Winkler Flyers and the Portage Terriers next Tuesday and Wednesday.