The Steinbach Pistons are facing off against the Virden Oil Capitals in the second round of the MJHL playoffs. Game one is set for Friday evening at the TG Smith Centre.
December 17 – 3-0 Pistons win
December 18 – 4-0 Pistons win
SPECIAL TEAMS (versus each other):
PISTONS: PP 1/6 – 16.7% PK 9/9 – 100%
OIL CAPITALS: PP 0/9 – 0% PK 5/6 – 83.3%
The Pistons are coming off a 5-game series against the Selkirk Steelers. Steinbach started off the series strong, winning the first game 5-2. The following 4-games were hard fought, close games with good playoff hockey. The Pistons closed out the series in game 5 with a come from behind victory scoring the winning goal with under a minute left in the game. Versus Virden this season, Steinbach shut them out in back-to-back nights. Will Hambley was in net for both the wins, turning away all 61 shots that he faced. Steinbach will need to stick their style of keeping the game quick and not letting Virden settle in. The Pistons will need to keep their eyes on Braden Fischer on Virden who is a versatile offensive threat and was the MJHL MVP this season.
The Virden Oil Capitals are coming off a first-round sweep against the Waywayseecappo Wolverines. Virden was the 3-seed going up against the 2-seed Wolverines. It was a hard-fought series with every game a 1-goal game and two of the games going to OT. Virden finished the season hot, with them not a playoff team at the Christmas break and finishing off as the 3-seed in the West division. Braden Fischer leads the way for the Oil Capitals with a great 200-foot game, elite offensive abilities and a knack for scoring the puck.
“The guys have had an awesome week of compete and battle in practice and it’s going to translate well for us into round 2” Pistons forward Braden Birnie commented. “The fans can expect us to take the compete to another level and come out flying this Friday. We are all ready to go after having a good little break after round 1.”
“I think we saw first-hand how difficult it is to win at this time of the year and the importance of being engaged every shift” Head Coach and GM Paul Dyck commented on what the team hopes to build off of from round 1. “We gained some valuable playoff experience in round one and hopefully we can build off it and elevate our game again.”
Talking about the mindset going into the second round Dyck stated, “we are playing a team that is as hot as any in the league over the past 2 months, so we will be required to be dialed in for the entire series. Our focus needs to be on game 1, playing at our pace and managing the puck well.”