Tanner Mole and Zach Purcell each had two goals on the night as the Steinbach Pistons clinched the #1 spot in the MJHL standings with a 9-3 win over the OCN Blizzard.
Kyle Bettens also had a big points night with a goal and three assists, Bryce Young had a goal and two assists, while Codey Behun put up three helpers on the night. Matt Lenz picked up his league leading 29th win of the season as he 15 saves on the night.
Mole got the scoring started on the power play 6:52 into the first period on a one-timer for a 1-0 Pistons lead with Declan Graham and Kyle Bettens picking up the assists.
Carter Loney would double the lead with a nice wrist shot from the right wing that beat OCN starter Zack Cloutier a minute after the Mole goal, with Zach Purcell and Ryan Butler picking up the apples on Loney’s 16th goal of the season.
Rylan Bettens broke a personal 14-game goalless drought with a bardown wrister from the right side for a 3-0 lead at the 10:12. Codey Behun had the lone assist on Bettens’ 14th of the season.
And Max Neill would cap a big first period with another power play goal, banking the puck in from behind the net. Ty Naaykens and Kyle Bettens had the assists on Neill’s 14th on the campaign, and his team-leading 8th PP marker.
Kyle Bettens would get his only goal with a nice forehand that undressed the goalie, with Bryce Young and Dylan Cassie picking up the helpers on Kyle’s 18th goal of the season at the 2:38 mark of the second period to make it 5-0 for Steinbach.
OCN would get one back as Trent Crane shovelled the puck past Lenz at the six minute mark of the second, but the Pistons would keep the pedal to the metal as Zach Purcell would cash in 1:11 after the Blizzard goal with his 32nd of the season for a 6-1 Steinbach edge.
The Blizzard would get two more near the end of the second period to make things a bit interesting at 6-3 after 40 minutes of play, but Steinbach would respond with a solid third period. Young would finally get his first against OCN this season 1:53 into the final frame for a 7-3 lead.
Purcell and Mole would cap the scoring with both of them notching their second of the night in the third period to make the final score 9-3 for the Pistons. Purcell now has 33 goals while Mole now has 16 in his 34th game of the season.
FIRST ROUND MATCHUP
With first place locked up, Steinbach will face either the Selkirk Steelers or the Winnipeg Blues in the first round of the MJHL playoffs.
The Pistons went 3 for 5 on the power play and killed off five penalties they faced.
UP NEXT: Steinbach travels to Selkirk for the final game of the 2019-20 regular season on Friday night. Catch that game live on HockeyTV or on your radio at MIX 96 and Steinbachonline.com.