Courtesy of Steinachonline.com – Photo Credit Dave Mikkola
The Steinbach Pistons went into Winnipeg with two straight losses but snapped that skid with an impressive 4-1 victory over the Winnipeg Blues on Sunday night.
It was the top line that stepped up in a big way as the trio of Tyler Penner, Dan Taillefer and Cole Smith combined for 9 points and scored all four goals. Penner and Taillefer both had two goals and an assist while Smith finished with three assists. Penner talked about just how big the win was. “It was huge, we had two games that we shouldn’t have lost. But getting a couple points here was real good.”
It was Dan Taillefer finishing off a pretty tic-tac-toe play to start the scoring just 1:10 into the game while Penner notched his first of the night on the power play. Winnipeg would find the back of the net for what turned out to be their only goal of the game late in the first period. The second frame went by without any scoring and in the third, after a strong penalty kill, Penner potted his second giving the Pistons some much needed breathing room before Taillefer would hit the open net to seal the win. Actually, Smith shot it at the yawning cage and hit Taillefer in the skate giving him credit for the goal and Smith his third assist on the night. Darby Gula, Eddie Eades and Scott Petkau also had assists on goals.
Penner knows being the captain can come with some added pressure and when asked after the game on Sunday if he felt more pressure, he responded with a smile and a laugh, “Yes and no. I try and do my best speaking up in the locker room, which isn’t my strong suit but I’m working on it. I just try to play the right way and stick to the right systems and hopefully the guys follow.”
Roman Bengert made 25 of 26 saves in the win. The power play went 1 for 3 and the penalty kill went a solid 4 for 5.
After three games in three nights, the Pistons have some off time starting on Monday with several players taking the time to go home or recharge their batteries after a tough stretch of games with another tough stretch on the horizon.
The Pistons will travel to OCN on Friday for back to back contests and then wrap up the weekend on Sunday in Swan Valley (who might be the hottest team in the MJHL right now after big wins over both Portage and Virden in the past week). Penner talked about the first northern trip of the season and how the guys use it as a bonding experience. “It’s a fun experience, it’s along bus ride and you sure find out some things about the guys (laughs). Up there we stay in the hotel together and it’s always a fun experience. It will be fun for the rookies.”
Even though it’s a fun time away from the rink for the players to come together, Penner knows that you can’t take a night off in this league. “We try to go into every game the same way and these games will be the exact same. We will need to bring our ‘A’ game, for sure.”