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Pistons Defeat Stampeders, Book Place in MJHL Playoffs

Kyle Bettens scored the game-winner with 15:11 left in the third period as the Steinbach Pistons bounced back from yesterday’s shootout loss with a 3-2 win over the Swan Valley Stampeders Sunday night.

With the two points, the Pistons have officially clinched a spot in the 2020 MJHL playoffs. Matt Lenz picked up another win as he made 22 saves on the night. Stampeders netminder Mikael Foucher stopped 29 of 32 Steinbach shots in the loss.

The Pistons were coming off of a tough loss last night to the Waywayseecappo Wolverines and needed a solid effort on the road before embarking on a long homestand this coming week.

Steinbach would take the lead on their only quality scoring chance of the first period with just over four minutes to play. Dylan Cassie sprung Max Neill and Codey Behun on a 2-on-1 rush, and Neill fed the puck to Behun who rifled a shot past the shoulder of Foucher for a 1-0 lead on the Winnipeg native’s 17th goal of the season.

The Pistons would dominate the first 15 minutes of the second period, tilting the ice towards the Swan Valley end of the rink. The road team would cash in on their first power play chance of the game 5:57 into the middle frame. Off of a won faceoff by Behun, Zach Purcell fed Dylan Cassie who sifted a wrist shot through a maze of bodies and into the back of the net, giving Steinbach a 2-0 lead.

Swan would respond with two late goals in the second period, the first on a giveaway by Lenz in which the puck would roll onto the tape of Josh Maucieri for an easy one to cut the lead in half with 3:11 left. Trevor Schroder would tie the game with 1:26 to go on the power play, as he picked up a rebound off a blocked shot from his own teammate and beat Lenz to the blocker side.

The Pistons would go to work once again in the third period, taking a 3-2 lead on a solid breakout of their own zone. Evan Kaufman launched the puck up the left wing boards that was tipped to the middle by Ty Naaykens right onto the waiting stick of Kyle Bettens, who cut in on a breakaway and beat Foucher with a backhand shot for his 13th goal of the season at the 4:49 mark.

Steinbach did a great job closing out the game, not giving the Stampeders any breathing room all over the ice. Even when Swan Valley pulled their goalie there was no quality chances on Matt Lenz, and the Pistons will come back home with three of a possible four points on their quick two game road swing.

SPECIAL TEAMS

The Pistons went 1 for 2 on the power play while the Stampeders went 1 for 4.

UP NEXT: Steinbach begins a five-game homestand, their longest home stretch of the season, on Tuesday night when they welcome the Winnipeg Blues to the TG Smith Centre. Puck drops at 7:30 pm, get your tickets for that contest already by heading online to Steinbachpistons.ca.