Riese Gaber potted the winning goal with 8:28 to go in the third period, as the Steinbach Pistons survived a Winkler Flyers comeback in the third to win 4-3 on Family Day at the TG Smith Centre Monday afternoon.
Will Koop, Drew Worrad, and Bradley Schoonbaert had the other markers for Steinbach. Matthew Thiessen was the Piston starting goaltender, and he made 18 saves for his 25th win of the season. Flyers backup goalie Aaron Brunn got the start, and he stopped 31 of 35 Piston shots in the loss.
Winkler came into this game without their captain Nolan McGuire, and the bitter taste from their last meeting with Steinbach. The Pistons won 10-1 on January 24th at the TG Smith Centre. The first period was evenly played, with Steinbach outshooting their rivals 13-7 in the frame.
The second saw three Piston goals, the first coming from Koop as he went backhand-forehand with the puck, and slid it past the left pad of Brunn for the 1-0 lead. The goal was Koop’s 23rd of the year from Brady Tatro at 9:51 of the second period.
The second came when Bradley Schoonbaert attempted to deke around a Flyers defenceman. He left the puck behind, and it fell onto the stick of Drew Worrad who then fired the puck past the glove of Brunn. Worrad notched his 26th of the season from Schooonbaert and Declan Graham at the 13:05 mark. The Pistons capped their period when Schoonbaert buried a loose puck in the goal crease off of a Mark Taraschuk shot on the power play. Schoonbaert got his 35th of the season from Taraschuk and Worrad at the 15:46 mark.
Winkler sprung to life in the third period after only getting 12 shots on goal through two periods. Cole Kirkup scored a breakaway goal for his 9th of the season. The Pistons ran into penalty problems in the third period, and the Flyers capitalized early on the first Steinbach penalty of the period. CJ Corrazin beat a screened Thiessen for his 5th of the season on the PP, and the Flyers had two quick goals.
The Pistons bounced back after the second Flyers goal, as Brendan Martin threw a shot on the right pad of Brunn, and the rebound went right to Gaber who made no mistake. Gaber notched his 24th from Martin and Will Koop with 8:28 remaining.
The Pistons continued their penalty troubles, when Daniel McKitrick and Declan Graham took consecutive penalties with around five minutes to go. Mitch Dyck fired home a one-timer to pull the Flyers back within one with four minutes to go.
But that’s as close as the Flyers would come, as they took two penalties inside of three minutes, and the Pistons closed out the game from there.
SCHOONBAERT TIES PENNER
With his second period goal, Bradley Schoonbaert tied the franchise record for goals in a season (35) set by former captain Tyler Penner in the 2015-16 season. He is also one goal away from tying Dan Taillefer for career goals in Pistons history. Taillefer has 90 career Piston goals, Schoonbaert has 89.
Both teams connected on the PP, the Pistons went 1 for 4 on the powerplay, while the Flyers went 2 for 7.
UP NEXT: The Pistons visit the BellMTS Iceplex on Wednesday to take on the Winnipeg Blues. Puck drop is set for 7:00 pm.