Ty Naaykens led the way with two goals and three assists as the Steinbach Pistons defeated the Winnipeg Freeze 8-0 at the 2020 home opener at the TG Smith Centre.
Linemates Matt Osadick and Dominic Murano each netted one goal and two assists, while Thomas Couture followed suit from Simon Harkness yesterday and got his first shutout in his first Pistons start with a 21 save performance.
After the opening ceremonies which introduced the team to the restricted sold-out crowd inside the TG Smith, the Pistons were all over the Freeze from the drop of the puck.
Caden Triggs would net his first MJHL goal 4:48 into the game with a shot from the slot that Freeze starter Presley Lester got a piece of, but not enough as Steinbach grabbed a 1-0. Codey Behun got the helper on the play.
Osadick netted a beauty as he deked the goalie to the backhand and slipped the puck into the open cage on a power play to give the Pistons a 2-0 advantage halfway through the first period, with Naaykens and Sam Court picking up the assists.
Naaykens would then get his first of the night two and a half minutes on the fourth PP goal of the weekend for Steinbach for a 3-0 lead, with Osadick and Court notching the helpers. Naaykens would add his second just 17 seconds into the second period for a 4-0 stranglehold, with Murano and Osadick assisting.
Zac Patrick would notch his first as a Piston with a goal on a 4-on-1 rush for a 5-0 lead, as Naaykens and Murano netted another helper. Then Murano deflected home his first MJHL goal on a point shot from Patrick that beat Ciaran McVicker, who relieved Lester after giving up the fifth goal. Quinton Pepper would net his first MJHL goal, and would give the fans pancakes for a 7-0 lead with 6:35 left in the second period. Blake Burr and defenceman Eduard Wruck notched the helpers on the play.
Codey Behun would conclude the scoring just 2:08 into the third period, jumping on a rebound off of a Wruck point shot for a 8-0 Steinbach lead. Rylan Bettens would get the assist on Behun’s first goal of the season.
The only question in the remainder of the game was whether or not Couture would get the shutout or not, and he answered ‘yes’ with three minutes to play as he made a diving stick save on a Freeze forward to preserve the clean sheet.
The Pistons went 2 for 4 on the power play, and killed off the three minor penalties they faced. Dating back to last season, Steinbach has been dynamite a man down. The team has killed off their last 35 penalties dating back to Game #1 against the Blues in the playoffs.
UP NEXT: These two teams will face off again next Saturday night at the TG Smith Centre at 7:30 pm. Catch the game live on HockeyTV or on the radio at MIX 96 and Steinbachonline.com.