The Steinbach Pistons didn’t take the Neepawa Natives lightly, flexing their muscle in a 7-2 win Wednesday evening at the T.G. Smith Centre.
Steinbach came off a weekend that saw them win three close well-contested games in Virden and Swan River. It may have been easy for Steinbach to overlook a Neepawa squad that has struggled to amass wins.
However, that wasn’t the case Wednesday evening as the Pistons sent 62 shots at Troy Pierce; Neepawa’s goaltender. The last time these two teams played back on November 28th, the Pistons scored five first period goals and then didn’t score another goal until the final minutes of the game.
This time, the Pistons stepped on the gas and kept their focus right until the final buzzer sending 20 or more shots at the Neepawa net in all three periods, scoring 1 goal in the first, 2 in the second and 4 in the third.
Tyson McConnell put Steinbach on the board first with a highlight reel shorthanded goal at 13:53 of the 1st period. The Pilot Mound product dove over the charging netminder near the Natives’ blue line to shovel the puck into the open net for his 2nd goal of the year.
Tyler Penner added a pair of goals while Ryan Carlson, Robert Briem, Matthew Stanley and Daniel Taillefer each had a goal. Stanley’s was his first of his MJHL career as a rookie defenseman.
Neepawa made it 2-1 in the first half of the 2nd period, which was their best period of the game, sending 13 of their 25 shots on the Pistons’ net. They did add their 2nd goal off Aiken Chop’s stick on a break-away in the final seconds of the game.
Jeremy Wik received the start, trying to build off his shutout performance against the Virden Oil Capitals this past Saturday. He stopped 23-of-25 for his 8th win of the season. Pierce was busy making 55 saves on 62 pucks sent his way.
The Pistons moved into 2nd place in the MJHL, two points ahead of the Winkler Flyers. However, Winkler does have three games in hand. Steinbach plays again tomorrow on home ice against the Waywayseecappo Wolverines, it will be newcomer Briem’s first game versus his former team of 4 years. Puck drops 7:30 PM Friday evening.