Daniel McKitrick scored twice, as the Pistons used a three goal second period on their way to a 4-0 win over the Swan Valley Stampeders at the BellMTS Iceplex Tuesday afternoon.
Steinbach was playing their first game out of two at this year’s Old Dutch MJHL Showcase in Winnipeg. Matthew Thiessen was solid in goal once again for the Pistons, making a cool 17 saves for his second shutout and 15th win of the season. Ethan Peterson was stout in the Stampeder net stopping 35 shots, but he ultimately took the loss.
There was no scoring to be had in the first period, as it was a tight defensive start to the game. The Pistons outshot the Stampeders 15-4 in the frame, although the best chances came in the final 5 minutes. Drew Worrad had 3 chances in tight to get the game’s first goal, but good stickwork by the Swan defenders did not allow Worrad to bury his chances.
The Pistons got off to a quick start in the second period, as Austin Heidemann took a breakout pass from Darby Gula and looked to dump one in on the net from the blue line. However the shot was perfectly placed overtop the blocking arm of Peterson and went into the top corner. Heidemann’s 15th of the season from Gula and Declan Graham came just 13 seconds into the period, and the Pistons had a lead they would never relinquish.
McKitrick took a breakaway pass from Will Koop and fired a shot underneath the glove of Peterson for his first goal of the hockey at the 14:01 mark of the period. Braden Purtill also picked up an assist on McKitrick’s 11th goal. Shortly after Steinbach ran into some penalty problems, as they took two consecutive penalties within 35 seconds of each other. Thiessen and the penalty killers stood tall during a Stampeder onslaught. After the second penalty expired, McKitrick jumped off of the bench and took yet another breakaway pass, this one from Mark Taraschuk. McKitrick slipped a backhand shot between the legs of Peterson and into the back of the net to make it 3-0 Pistons after 40 minutes.
Taraschuk got the other goal for the Pistons in the third period, as his wrist shot from the left point found its way through for Steinbach’s fourth goal of the game. Jack Johnson and Tyson McConnell picked up assists on Taraschuk’s 7th of the year with just over 12 minutes remaining in the frame.
The Pistons only had 1 power play on the night, and did not convert on it. They went a perfect 3 for 3 on the penalty kill.
UP NEXT: The Pistons conclude their 2017 MJHL Showcase with a game against the Dauphin Kings Wednesday afternoon. Puck drop is scheduled for 3:00 pm.