Codey Behun led the way for Steinbach with a goal and two assists as the Pistons wrapped up the 2020 preseason with a convincing 4-1 win over their Mennonite rival Winkler Flyers Saturday night at the TG Smith Centre.
Fellow linemates Caden Triggs and Rylan Bettens each had two points to go along with Behun’s three, with Triggs posting a goal and a helper while Bettens notched two assists. Steinbach outshot the Flyers 42-19 on the night, with goalies Thomson Phinney and Simon Harkness each playing well over the course of sixty minutes.
It was Winkler that got the scoring started 4:33 into the first period as Jackson Arpin beat Phinney glove side for a 1-0 Flyers advantage. But Behun responded with his patented quick-release wrist shot later in the frame that beat Winkler starter Dylan Meilun to tie the game, with Bettens and Triggs getting the assists at the 12:53 mark.
It was all Steinbach from the drop of the puck at the start of the second period to the final whistle, as they outshot the Flyers 27-11 over the final fourty minutes. Ty Naaykens would notch his first of the preseason on the power play to give the Pistons a 2-1 4:53 into the second period, with Curtis Ireland and Matt Osadick assisting on the play. And then Triggs would poke the puck past the goal line almost three minutes later to double Steinbach’s lead to 3-1.
The Pistons showcased their trademark lockdown defense in the final frame, keeping the play in the offensive end. But the Flyers were still in the game thanks to 16-year-old goalie Reid Dyck, who kept the orange and black in the contest by stopping 19 shots he faced.
However when the young netminder was pulled for the extra attacker late, Steinbach would seal the deal on an empty net goal by Dominic Murano to conclude the scoring at 4-1 with 1:09 remaining.
It was a relatively clean game with only two minor penalties called on either side. The Pistons converted on one of those opportunities while the Flyers didn’t score on their man advantages.
Steinbach will look to use this as momentum heading into one of the most highly anticipated weekends in MJHL history as they’ll face off with the expansion Winnipeg Freeze next week in the resumption of meaningful games since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
HOME OPENER REMINDER: Due to COVID-19 safety measures and restrictions on seating capacity, season ticket holders will only be allowed access into the TG Smith for the regular season. Otherwise the games can be seen online with a subscription to HockeyTV, or heard on the radio at MIX 96 and Steinbachonline.com. Puck drop for next weekend’s games are both at 7:30 pm.