Declan Graham and Codey Behun scored 38 seconds apart in the waning minutes as the Steinbach Pistons defeated the Selkirk Steelers for a third straight exhibition game with a 2-1 victory.
It was the preseason debuts for returning players from last year’s Pistons roster including Graham, Evan Kaufman, Max Neill, David Queree, and Matt Lenz. Lenz got the start in goal and made 12 saves. Danton Belluk, who made 38 saves in last night’s win over Selkirk, came in halfway through the contest and stopped all 12 shots he faced and got the win.
After a sloppy first period, the Steelers scored 15 seconds into the second period as Carter Barley walked in on the right wing and beat Lenz for a 1-0 lead.
The Pistons poured on the pressure late in the middle frame and the best chance came from newcomer Behun, who was making his first appearance in Steinbach colours after being acquired by the Winnipeg Blues during the offseason. The Winnipeg native got the puck all alone at the side of the net on a power play, but was robbed by Selkirk starter Levi Mitchell.
Steinbach carried the play in the third period and finally tied it up with 2:36 to go. Hard work along the boards by Behun and Detroit native Rylan Clemons freed the puck up for Graham, who beat Selkirk backup goalie Cole Plowman high glove side.
The Pistons rushed back into the neutral zone shortly after and Behun took a pass from Evan Kaufman, and roofed it over the glove of Plowman to give Steinbach a 2-1 lead with 1:58 to go. Graham picked up his second point on the night on Behun’s 1st of the preseason.
The Steelers pulled the goalie to try and tie it up, but Steinbach stood strong in their own end to preserve a one goal victory.
UP NEXT: The Pistons welcome the Blues to the TG Smith Centre Tuesday night with puck drop scheduled for 7:30 pm. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students at the door, and the game is free for season ticket holders.