The white-hot Zach Purcell continued his torrid play by scoring three goals on the night as the Steinbach Pistons won 5-1 over the OCN Blizzard Friday night at the TG Smith.
Ty Naaykens and Codey Behun tallied the other goals for Steinbach, while Matt Lenz made 20 saves in the win. OCN goalie Danick Rodrigue was excellent for OCN in net but was tagged with the loss as he made 44 saves on the night.
The Pistons got off once again to another quick start as Purcell buried a rebound past Rodrigue 1:58 into the game to give the home side a 1-0 lead, with Caydin Cleland and Carter Loney picking up the assists.
Rodrigue held OCN in the game early with a couple of highlight reel saves, but he couldn’t keep Steinbach from scoring again as Purcell sniped the puck from the ringette line on the power play. Loney added the only assist on the Aurora, Colorado native’s second of the period with 1:28 to go.
Naaykens would net Steinbach’s second power play goal of the night, as the Pistons’ leading scorer took a cross-ice pass from Kyle Bettens for a 3-0 lead with 12:50 left in period 2. Declan Graham had the other apple on Naaykens’ 19th goal on the campaign.
Purcell would complete his hat-trick on a give-and-go with Bryce Young and Steinbach would go up by four with 4:03 left in the middle period. Evan Kaufman also assisted on the goal, giving Purcell 22 goals on the year and a ridiculous 10 goals in his last 6 games.
OCN defender Sam Willits would break up Lenz’s shutout bid with a backhander through the five-hole 2:14 into the third period to get the Blizzard on the board. But Steinbach played some solid defence towards the end, and would seal the deal with 2:44 left. Codey Behun stripped a Blizzard forward and turned to the slot and ripped the puck over the shoulder of Rodrigue to make it 5-1 Pistons, giving Behun his 18th goal of the season.
There would be some fireworks towards the end of the game as Jack Kilroy dropped the gloves with Bradyn Smelski, while Ryan Butler mixed it up with former teammates Sequoia Swan and Jaden Pashe. The Pistons would keep their heads cool in the final seconds and would skate away with a 5-1 win.
The Pistons went 2 for 6 on the power play while killing off all five man advantages they faced.
UP NEXT: These same two squads will tangle again tomorrow night at the TG Smith, with puck drop scheduled for 7:30 pm. Get your tickets now by heading online to Steinbachpistons.ca/tickets.