The last time these two teams met, it was a tight-checking, defensive style 2-1 game for the Winnipeg Blues. Well that wouldn’t be the case tonight.
The Pistons torched the Winnipeg Blues 9-3 Friday night at the TG Smith Centre. Starter Matt Lenz was solid in the Steinbach crease as he made 29 saves in the win.
Steinbach got the scoring started short handed, as Boedey Vaeth found Brendan Martin in front of the net and Martin tapped home his 20thof the season at the 3:08 mark of the first. Martin would get his 21stof the season shortly after on a power play, as Declan Graham threw a slap-pass to the Thunder Bay native who deftly deflected home the pass for a 2-0 Pistons lead. Graham and Troy Williams netted the apples at 5:55.
Evan Kaufman scored his first MJHL goal at 7:49 of the first, as his shot found its way through bodies and Blues goalie Jeremy Link to give Steinbach a 3-0 lead. Graham and Kyle Bettens would assist on Kaufman’s first of the season.
The offense continued as Tanner Mole would chase Link from the net as he deflected a Doug Johnson shot past the Blues goalie for his 11thof the season and it was 4-0 Pistons not even halfway through the first period. Mole would greet Blues backup Jack Branby with his 2ndof the night as he outwaited the goalie and slid it home for his 12thof the season with 6:35 to go. Doug Johnson and Tyson McConnell had the assists on Mole’s first, and McConnell and Brendan Westbrook notched the helpers on his second in the period as the Pistons took a 5-0 lead into the first period break.
Winnipeg got one back as Sullivan Shortreed scored his 7thof the season from Braeden Binda at 9:30 of the second period.
The Pistons responded with three straight goals after that. First, Troy Williams sprung Max Neill on a breakaway and Neill made no mistake for his 7thof the season with 6:15 to play in the second frame.
Then it was birthday boy Easton Bennett getting into the scoring party, as he celebrated his birthday in style. With under 5 minutes to play in the period, he took a feed from Bettens on a 2-on-1 and beat Branby for his first on the night to send the Pistons fans home with pancakes. And then with 59 seconds to play, it was basically the same play as Bettens found Bennett again on a rush, and the Minot native scored again. Declan Graham and Bettens would both pick up their 3rdassists of the game on Bennett’s 6thand 7thgoals of the season.
Codey Behun scored his 12thof the season with eight seconds to go in the middle frame, and Steinbach was up 8-2 after forty.
The teams exchanged goals in the third period. First, Boedey Vaeth scored his 13thof the season from Brady Tatro and Evan Kaufman at 8:44. And Blues captain Kelton Sutherland would sneak one by Lenz to make it 9-3 with 11:12 to go. But the decision was clear from the halfway point of the first period, as Steinbach walked away with the two points.
The Pistons went 1 for 3 on the power play, and killed off all three man advantages they faced.
UP NEXT: This was the final game for the Pistons before the 2018 Old Dutch MJHL Showcase. This annual event is happening from December 9-12 at the Seven Oaks Centre in Winnipeg, and Steinbach will be in action late Monday afternoon against the Neepawa Natives and Wednesday night against the Virden Oil Capitals.