It was the number one penalty kill unit in the league, and an suddenly red-hot power play that proved to be the difference in a Pistons 4-1 win over the Waywayseecappo Wolverines Saturday night.
Steinbach’s penalty kill negated 8 of 9 Wolverines power plays in the game, thanks in large part to a solid effort by Pistons starter Matt Lenz as well as numerous forwards and defencemen. The Grapevine, Texas product made 30 saves in the win, while Wayway goalie Isaac Labelle also stopped 30 shots but it came in a loss.
Meanwhile the Pistons power play went 2 for 5, which gives Steinbach four power play goals in their last two games.
The Pistons began the game by outshooting the Wolverines 11-0 to start the game, but took four penalties in the back half of the opening period which allowed Wayway to climb back even. Steinbach’s penalty kill came up huge as they killed off all four in the frame, and the game was scoreless through 20 minutes.
After more penalty kill magic in the first half of the second period, Steinbach went to the power play and converted on back-to-back opportunities. First, a fired up Nico Labossiere banged in a loose puck in front of the Wolverine net to give Steinbach a 1-0 lead. Brendan Martin and Troy Williams picked up the apples on Labossiere’s second goal of the season with 7:45 to go.
Then Tanner Mole picked up his second power play goal in as many games, as he deflected a Tyson McConnell shot past the goalie for his 18th of the season, and gave the Pistons a 2-0 lead with 5:38 to play in period two.
All of the Pistons penalty troubles finally caught up to them in the final period, as Wayway scored on their tenth power play chance of the game. Bryce Krauter parked himself in front of Lenz, picked up the rebound off of a blocked shot, and beat Lenz to pull the Wolverines within one halfway through the third period.
Steinbach pushed back and it was the fourth line that restored the two goal lead. Troy Beauchemin found a loose puck in a bunch of skates in front of the net, and beat Labelle for his second of the season with 7:17 to play in the third period. Max Neill and Doug Johnson picked up the assists on the play.
Nico Labossiere sealed the deal with 1:15 left as he took a pass from Brendan Martin and fired the puck into the empty net to conclude scoring. Martin picked up his second assist of the game, and Tristan Culleton added the bonus helper on the empty netter.
UP NEXT: These two teams will be back at it tomorrow night in Wayway to conclude this three games in three day road trip. Puck drops at 6:00 pm, catch all of the action live on HockeyTV or tune into MIX 96 and Steinbachonline.com.