The Pistons were stymied by a goalie for the second straight night as Cooper Hatfield stopped 37 shots in a Blues 4-1 win over Steinbach Saturday night.
Mitchell Joss netted a goal and three assists on the night while leading scorer Mikol Sartor had two goals and one helper to lead the Blues offensively.
Dante Giannuzzi stopped 16 of 20 shots for the Pistons in the loss.
The Blues broke the game open in the second period after the game remained deadlocked at zeros in the first period of play. Brayden Foreman fed Sartor in the slot for a one-time goal on the power play that gave Winnipeg a 1-0 lead 2:10 into the second period.
Declan Graham tied the game up for Steinbach on the only man advantage for the Pistons in the game. His shot beat Hatfield with Max Neill screening in front to tie the game at 1, with Bryce Young getting the assist along with Neill on Graham’s 4th of the campaign at the 5:29 mark of the second period.
Steinbach turned up the physicality on the young Blues but Winnipeg would hit back where it hurt most; on the scoreboard. Joss buried a rebound past Giannuzzi on a power play to give Winnipeg a 2-1 lead with 3:28 to go in the second. And then Sartor would net his second of the night with 1:02 to go on a nice passing play to give Winnipeg a 3-1 advantage heading into the second period break.
Winnipeg took advantage of some porous Pistons defense early in the third period to give them their three-goal edge. Sartor found Braden Fischer all alone in front and he made no mistake to give the Blues a 4-1 lead.
Steinbach couldn’t mount any quality chances in the third period, but continued their hit barrage on the Blues. It all built up until a fight broke out between Tucker Hodgson and Logan Danis that resulted in both hitting the showers early.
Winnipeg would benefit from their great defensive zone play in the third period and walked away from the TG Smith with a 4-1 win.
The Pistons connected on their only PP of the night while Winnipeg went 2 for 4 with the man advantage.
UP NEXT: Steinbach will enjoy some much-needed time off during Christmas after they capped a busy schedule by playing 10 games over the past 18 days. These two teams will see each other again on New Year’s Eve here in Steinbach, with the puck drop set for 6:00 pm.
The Pistons organization would like to wish all of their fans, billets, volunteers, sponsors, and the players’ families a Merry Christmas!