Courtesy of Steinbachonline.com
For all the hype and perceived bad blood between the Steinbach Pistons and Winkler Flyers, fans from both sides were treated to a close, hard fought contest that ended in a Pistons 3-1 victory on Friday night.
The fourth meeting already in this young season, both teams played a hard checking game but no extra scrums after the whistle, no questionable hits and it turned into a back and forth thriller that kept fans on the edge of their seats from puck drop to final buzzer.
Winkler found find the back of the net first but Matthieu Gomercic would answer back, his first of two on the night, to knot things up after the opening 20 minutes of play.
“I think it was, from top to bottom, one of the most complete efforts that we’ve had this season.” Head coach Paul Dyck explains after the game. “First ten minutes we were tentative. We were kind of feeling out the game. I don’t know how much confidence we came into the game in with, it’s been a shaky week, but we got stronger and then the goal by Gummy (Gomercic) was huge and you could feel it on the bench the guys were like ‘okay, here we go’, I thought he had a tremendous game.”
Quintin Lisoway did not disappoint in his return to the Pistons as he would put Steinbach out front with a beautiful back handed goal on the power play and Dyck talked about the energy Lisoway brought in all aspects of his game. “He’s a great addition; we’re very pleased to have him here. He hasn’t been in game action yet this year but really pays attention to details and executes all the simple plays really well. Just a huge goal for him and our team.”
After a gritty penalty kill, Gomercic hoped out of the box, raced down in the the Flyers end, grabbed a loose puck and swooped in front of the net, fired a shot, hit a couple legs and found the back of the net giving Steinbach a two goal lead and that’s all they would need to close out the game.
Gomercic was all smiles when talking about not just his performance but how his line of Julien Koga and Jordan Bochinski has clicked so far this year. “Our line really wanted to establish the fore check and it payed off in goals. I’ve been playing with Koga since I was 13 and with Bochinski we played together at the end of last year and we’ve just clicked.”
Jordan Bochinski (2), Julien Koga, Ryan Carlson and Hayden Goderis had the assists on the Pistons goals.
Both teams played a hard, respectful game and Dyck was more than pleased to see that after an edgy season series this game had everything a player, fan or coach could want. “There was a great pace to the game, there were some physicality as well. The game in Winkler got a little nasty and that will happen once and a while. The way the game is played today I thought this is what you’d expect tonight, two good teams that really competed all night.”
Jeremy Wik played a solid, well positioned game making 26 saves in the win.
The power play continues to thunder along going 1 for 3 while the penalty kill showed much improvement finishing 3 for 3.
The Pistons will travel to Virden to face the Oil Capitals on Sunday night. The game will be broadcast on AM 1250 and steinbachonline.com with the pre-game show at 4:15pm and puck drop at 4:30pm.