The Steinbach Pistons head to Dauphin to faceoff against the Kings for games 3 and 4 of the MJHL finals. Game 3 is set for tonight at 7:30pm.
The Pistons came out firing in game 1 of the MJHL finals, beating the Dauphin Kings by a score of 5-1 in front of a packed TG Smith Centre. Simon Harkness has now taken over the crease for the last 6 games and has played really well, boasting a 2.52 GAA and a 0.910 SV%. Harkness was standing on his head in the first period of last game against the Kings as he made some highlight reel saves and was the reason the Pistons were still in the game after 20 minutes of play. Steinbach’s topline of Birnie, Power and Pepper continues to dominate as they are the top 3 in MJHL playoff scoring. Secondary scoring has started to become more prevalent for the Pistons and will need to keep it up as the series continues.
Dauphin fell 5-1 in game 1 to Steinbach but reversed it for game 2 as they beat Steinbach 5-1. The defensive duo of Parker Malchuk and Colby Jaquet is lethal for the Kings as they move the puck so well, either with their feet or stick, and facilitate the flow of the game so well. Dauphin’s powerplay is the best in the MJHL playoffs and big reason for that is Malchuk and Jaquet quarterbacking it from the blueline and setting up great offensive zone control. Carson Cherepak has been the guy for Dauphin between the pipes and he has looked great in the playoffs with a 2.51 GAA and a 0.916 SV%.
PISTONS: PP 10/42 – 23.8% PK 40/49 – 81.6%
KINGS: PP 16/62 – 25.8% PK 39/47 – 83.0%
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Steinbach: Braden Birnie
Braden Birnie has 22 points (10 goals and 12 assists) in 13 games so far in the playoffs. Birnie is also currently on an 11-game point streak, going back to game 3 of the first round against the Selkirk Steelers. Birnie plays a quick and physical game, where he uses his body and physicality to generate scoring chances. Birnie does not shy away from finishing his checks and is smart and tactical when he does it. Birnie has a great shot as his placement with the shot is amazing and a big reason for his 10 goals these playoffs.
Dauphin: Colby Jaquet
Colby Jaquet has 15 points (4 goals and 11 assists) in 13 games so far. Jaquet is a great offensive defenseman with great awareness. Jaquet quarterbacks the powerplay alongside Parker Malchuk and is one the main reasons their powerplay is so successful. Jaquet is also a very quick player and uses that mixed with his great awareness to generate good breakouts and establish control in the offensive zone.