Article Courtesy of Steinbachonline.com – Picture Courtesy of Andrea Pries
It was a night of special teams dominance for the Steinbach Pistons as they defeated the Swan Valley Stampeders 6-0 to grab a 2-0 series lead in the best of 7.
Mack Graham scored his first Manitoba Junior Hockey League hat-trick while Robert Briem netted a pair of goals. Cole Smith added his second of the postseason and all the goals were with the man advantage. The power play finished a sparkling 6-13. “I thought our power play was excellent tonight.” Paul Dyck said post game. “We were moving the puck around and finding ways to score.”
Roman Bengert picked up his first playoff shutout with 24 saves on the night and although he didn’t have to make saves in bunches, he did have to be sharp on the penalty kill. “You want your goalie to be the best penalty killer.” Said Dyck “He was. He saw shots and made saves, especially on the 5 on 3’s (Swan had two, two men advantages for over a minute each but failed to score) but it was great team defence again.” The penalty kill went 5-5.
For Graham, he was all smiles after scoring a goal in each period and Dyck knows that it’s something fans will come to expect from him. “He’s a big game player. He steps up his game in playoff games and that’s what we like about him. He’s in the dirty areas and he’s doing the little things right to get goals. It’s great to see him get rewarded tonight.”
With a commanding 2-0 series lead, the Pistons will head on the road Wednesday and Thursday. Dyck knows it’ll be a different type of team when facing them on those nights. “They’ll be hungry. Their barn can be a tough place to play, but we’ve had success there. We’re going to take it one game at a time. Our goal is to win on Wednesday and then go from there. We know they will push back, they’re a capable team and we know they’ll want it.”
Both games will be on AM1250 Radio and SteinbachOnline.com with the pre-game show at 7:15 pm and puck drop at 7:30 pm both nights.