It wasn’t the prettiest of games for Steinbach, but two points is two points.
Matt Lenz made 26 saves as the Pistons defeated the Neepawa Natives 2-1 Friday night.
Playing their first game in five days, Steinbach and Neepawa played to a draw in the first period as the Pistons outshot the Natives 9-5 in the opening frame. The best chance of the period came off the stick of forward Mackenzie Belinski, but Matt Lenz robbed him on the 2-on-1 as the buzzer sounded to end the first period.
Steinbach got on the board first, as Brendan Martin found newcomer Nico Labossiere who dangled around Natives goaltender Kolby Thornton and slid home his first as a Piston to make it 1-0. Boedey Vaeth picked up the extra assist on Labossiere’s first at the 2:16 mark of the second period.
The Natives pushed back in the second and tied it up at 1, as Jesse Gibbons beat Lenz in the slot with 7:34 left in the frame. Tanner Robin and Brad Marshall picked up the helpers on the 9thgoal of the season for Gibbons.
Martin would restore the Pistons lead, as a nice pass from Labossiere in tight found the stick of the Pistons leading scorer. Thornton was able to get a piece of the puck, but it wasn’t enough as Martin buried his 25thof the season from Labossiere and Declan Graham with 3:20 left in the second period.
Steinbach got into penalty problems in the third period, and at one point the Natives had a 1:48 long 5 on 3 PP with thirteen minutes to go. But the top penalty kill team in the league stepped up and did not allow Neepawa to score.
The Natives came close multiple times, but Lenz shut the door and the Pistons were able to come away with a 2-1 win.
The Pistons did not score on the man advantage, but their penalty kill was the difference as it went 5 for 5 on the night.
UP NEXT: Steinbach is back in action tomorrow as the Winnipeg Blues come to town for Hockey Gives Blood night at the TG Smith Centre. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30 pm, catch all the action live on HockeyTV. You can get tickets for that game online at Steinbachpistons.ca.