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Pistons Grind Down Neepawa To Start 2018 MJHL Showcase

It was a good start for the Pistons at the 2018 Old Dutch MJHL Showcase at the Seven Oaks Arena in Winnipeg, as they controlled play right from the start in a 3-1 win over the Neepawa Natives.

This was game #31 for Steinbach, officially beginning the second half of the season for the Pistons. Matt Lenz got the start in goal for the men in white and blue, and got the win by making 12 saves. Natives goaltender Kolby Thornton stopped 33 of 36 shots for Neepawa.

The Pistons opened the scoring 8:04 into the first period on the power play, as Brendan Westbrook pounced on a rebound and slid the puck home for his 5thof the season. Tyson McConnell and Kyle Bettens had the apples on Westbrook’s power play marker. There wasn’t many shots put on goal in the first period (Pistons led 7-4 in shots after one), but Steinbach controlled play in the Neepawa zone for much of the first frame and led 1-0.

In the second period, defenceman Tristan Culleton took a big hit in the neutral zone but in the process made a sweet dish to Boedey Vaeth. The Lorette native walked in and beat Thornton top corner to put Steinbach up 2-0 1:47 into the frame. Brendan Martin along with Culleton had the assists on the goal.

The Pistons grinded down the Natives in the second, as they fired 18 shots on goal in the period. Neepawa did not get their first shot on goal until 2:35 left in the frame.

In the third period, Steinbach iced the game when a pinching Culleton walked out of the corner and roofed a wrist shot that popped the water bottle to make it 3-0 Pistons with 5:16 to go. Jack Kilroy picked up the lone assist on Culleton’s 2ndof the season, giving the St. Louis two points on the night.

Neepawa would break the shutout bid of Lenz on a late power play goal with 1:03 to go in the game, as Cam Olstad beat Lenz upstairs for his 8thof the season. But it was too little, too late as the Pistons skated away with the 3-1 victory.

SPECIAL TEAMS

The Pistons went 1 for 6 on the PP, and the Natives went 1 for 5 on their power plays.

UP NEXT: Steinbach’s next action at the 2018 MJHL Player Showcase will be on Wednesday night in the feature game at 7:00 pm, as they face the Virden Oil Capitals in a 2018 Turnbull Cup rematch. Catch the game live on HockeyTV.