Bradley Schoonbaert had a goal and an assist, and Daniel McKitrick tallied three assists on the night as the Steinbach Pistons defeated the Swan Valley Stampeders 6-1 Sunday night. The win puts the Pistons back into first place in the MJHL standings, as they move one point clear of the idle Winkler Flyers.
Matthew Thiessen made 24 saves for the Pistons in the victory, and Swan netminders Brett Evans and Ethan Peterson combined to stop 30 of 36 Piston shots in defeat. The Pistons concluded a difficult three games in three days trip with 4 points out of a possible 6.
Playing in just his second game with the Pistons, Mark Wilson scored his 2nd goal in the blue and white, firing a wrist shot at the top of the point, and it found its way through Evans to give the Pistons a 1-0 lead just three minutes in. The assists went to McKitrick and Mark Taraschuk on Wilson’s goal. At 8:53 of the period. Tyson McConnell came down the left hand side, and threw a pass that found the tape of Austin Heidemann in front of the goal. Heidemann slipped his 13th of the campaign passed the left pad of Evans for a 2-0 lead.
Then the Pistons capitalized on two Swan turnovers in their own zone late in the first. McKitrick intercepted a pass, and threw it to Braden Purtill for the wrist shot goal. The captain’s 16th of the season made it 3-0 with over three minutes remaining. In almost a carbon copy of Purtill’s goal, Schoonbaert stole a breakout pass, and fired it off the crossbar and in for the 4-0 lead after 20 minutes. That chased Evans from the net, and Peterson came in to start the second period.
McKitrick had a good night setting his teammates up, and he found Brendan Martin on a 2 on 1 rush to give the Pistons a 5-0 lead. Jaret Lalli also picked up an assist on Martin’s 5th goal this year at the halfway mark of the second period. Tanner Mole completed the scoring for Steinbach, as he stripped a Swan defender short-handed and walked in and slapped one past Peterson for the 6-0 lead with 7:37 left in the second period.
Jaden Townsend broke Thiessen’s shutout bid, as he tipped a Quinton Sudon shot on the PP to make it 6-1. The goal was Townsend’s 7th of the year.
The Pistons went 0 for 2 on the PP, and killed of 2 of 3 penalties.
UP NEXT: The Pistons return to play at the TG Smith for the first time in over two weeks on Friday, as they host the Neepawa Natives. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30 pm. You can buy your game day tickets one hour prior to the game at the gate, or purchase them online anytime at Steinbachpistons.ca.