Zach Purcell had two goals on the night as the Steinbach Pistons broke out of their goal scoring funk with a 6-2 win over the Virden Oil Capitals Saturday night at the TG Smith Centre.
Ty Naaykens and Ryan Butler also put up a goal and an assist while Kyle Bettens made his return to the lineup and registered three assists in his first game back from injury.
Matt Lenz made 26 saves in the Steinbach goal for his 22nd win of the season, while Virden goalie Ethan Peterson stopped 39 of 45 shots in the loss.
Steinbach had scored just 19 goals in their past nine games after putting up nine markers against the Selkirk Steelers and five against the Neepawa Natives in December.
But that would change as the Pistons would net the game’s first goal with just over three minutes to go in the first period. Ty Naaykens would pick up the puck at the side of the net and beat Peterson underneath his left arm for his 16th goal of the season, with Butler picking up his first point as a Piston on the play.
Steinbach would bust the game open in the second period, striking three times in a six-minute span. A nice passing play by Kyle Bettens and Ty Naaykens set up Butler, and he would fire the puck into an open cage for his first goal as a Piston at the 6:46 mark to give the home team a 2-0 lead.
Purcell would make it 3-0 halfway through the middle frame on the power play, as he picked up a rebound with Peterson out of position and wristed the puck into the net. Curtis Ireland and Carter Loney would net the apples on Purcell’s 14th tally on the campaign.
The Colorado product would get his second of the game two and a half minutes later on a nice no-look backhand pass by Loney, as Purcell was alone in front and made no mistake for his 15th on the year and a 4-0 Pistons advantage.
Hunter Cloutier replied for Virden with a power play goal of his own to cut the deficit to 4-1 with 25 seconds remaining in the second.
Steinbach would get their four goal lead back on a brilliant shorthanded rush by Rylan Bettens, as he stepped around an Oil Cap defender and beat Peterson while being hauled down in front for his 12th goal of the season 1:25 into the third, sending the TG Smith Centre crowd into a frenzy.
Max Neill would extend the lead to 6-1 as he tipped home a point shot by Dylan Cassie with 6:31 left in the game, with Kyle Bettens notching the secondary assist on Neill’s 10th goal of the year.
Tristan Thompson of the Oil Caps would conclude the scoring as his shot caromed off of skates and past Lenz to make the final score 6-2 with 4:35 left.
The Pistons went 1 for 7 on the power play while the Oil Caps ended up 2 for 7 with their man advantages.
UP NEXT: 9 Pistons players, Head Coach/GM Paul Dyck, and Athletic Therapist Jeff Eidse will all head to Regina for the 2020 MJHL/SJHL Showcase on Tuesday and Wednesday, while the rest of the team will get ready and prepare for the team’s next outings in Waywayseecappo and Swan River next weekend.