After a successful mini three-game homestand that saw the Pistons win all three games, they’ll look to take that momentum on the road when they collide with the Dauphin Kings at Credit Union Place tonight.
This will be the second meeting between these two teams, with Steinbach winning the first matchup in a shootout last Friday at the TG Smith. Christian Riemer and Codey Behun had the goals in regulation, while Carter Loney and Behun netted goals in the second and third round to win the game for the Pistons.
Steinbach is coming off of a 6-1 win over the Neepawa Natives on Wednesday night and now sit with a 12-2-2 record, good enough for the best win percentage in the MJHL (.813). Paul Dyck’s side got contributions from all four lines on the night, including two-point games from the line of Troy Beauchemin (2 A), David Queree (1 G, 1 A), and Rylan Clemons (1 G, 1 A). Rylan Bettens, Zach Purcell, Max Neill, and Ty Naaykens notched the other markers for Steinbach.
Newcomer Bryce Young made his Pistons debut on Wednesday night and played on the right wing with Ty Naaykens and Carter Loney. Young picked up his first point on Steinbach’s final goal of the game.
Turning the attention to the home team tonight, the Dauphin Kings continue to make their way up the MJHL standings after struggling to start the season. The Kings have lost four of their past five games, but all of those losses came in extra time. With last night’s OT loss to the Winkler Flyers, Dauphin now has picked up a point in nine straight games.
They boasts the top two scorers in the league as well as four players in the top 10. Nakodan Greyeyes (33 points) and Baron Thompson (28 points) sit 1-2 on the list, Grady Hobbs (23 points) sits 6th, while defenceman Cole DeKoninck (7th) leads all MJHL d-men in scoring with 21 points.
Matthias Smith shut the door against the Pistons in their last matchup with 38 saves but was tagged with the loss. The first-year junior A goaltender has had a solid start to the season with a .900 SV% and a 3.21 GAA before last night’s game, but was pulled after two periods last night when he gave up 6 goals on 25 shots. Zach Grouette gave up the overtime winner but played well, stopping 15 of 16 shots against Winkler.
KEY: Control Kings’ PP
The Dauphin Kings sit 2nd in the MJHL with a 25.6% conversion rate on the power play, and that’s no surprise given all of the talent on their roster. The Pistons have been good on the PK their last two outings, allowing no goals against while down a man. The last matchup between these two teams saw the Kings score both of their goals on the man advantage, so Steinbach will need to keep Dauphin in check in that facet of the game.
Pistons PP 14.9% (10th), PK 84.1% (4th)
Kings PP 25.6% (2nd), PK 78.6% (8th)
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Pistons: Max Neill
The second-year Piston has seen an elevated role this season, becoming a key figure amongst Steinbach’s forward group. Neill’s impact has been on the power play, wreaking havoc for opposing goaltenders by getting right on top of their crease. The Portage native leads the team with two power play goals on the season. When Steinbach gets a power play, expect Neill to be a factor for the Dauphin goalie.
Kings: Nakodan Greyeyes
The MJHL’s leading scorer is currently on a nine-game point streak and has accumulated 20 of his 33 points during this stretch. Greyeyes has a knack for the net as he usually finishes around the goal while he can also set his linemates up in tight. With his vision and goal-scoring ability, the Pistons will need to watch out for him during tonight’s game.
WHERE TO WATCH/LISTEN
Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30 pm. You can catch that game live on HockeyTV, or on your radio at MIX 96.7 FM. Dave Anthony will call all the action beginning with the pre-game show at 7:15 pm.