Hub International Game Recap

The Steinbach Pistons cooled down one of the hottest teams in the MJHL Thursday night, defeating the Waywayseecappo Wolverines 4-1 to break their 7-game winning streak and make it back-to-back victories for Steinbach.

Ahead of the game, the Pistons got a much-needed boost to their blueline as defender Parker Jasper made his return to the lineup. Jasper had been out since January 17th due to injury.

Through much of the first period, both teams were trying to figure one another out. Steinbach did a great job moving pucks quickly from their zone while also keeping the Wolverines from connecting with long stretch passes designed to get them speed through the neutral zone.

Beck Liden got the start for Steinbach and in the back half of the first, he made a sensational pad save after a rush led to the best chance for either side to that point. As one forward cut into the zone, another drove the net, took a pass, and made a great move right at the top of the crease but the 18-year-old Liden stretched out and made a sensational pad save, keeping it scoreless.

Steinbach would get on the board first off a set faceoff play in the offensive zone. Kirk Mullen won the draw back to Trey Sauder who walked around and wired a shot past the glove of the goalie for his 19th of the season.

That was the start of a big night for both Sauder and Mullen.

In the second, Leo Chambers hit the 20-goal plateau as the captain took a pass in the slot from Shane Burns and snapped it home, extending the lead to 2-0. Good work from below the goal line by Brayden Berg helped the play develop and he was rewarded with a secondary assist for his efforts.

After a dust-up in the corner of the offensive zone where it looked as though a couple of penalties could be called, the officials let play go and it worked to the Wolverines' advantage as they walked into the Piston's zone on a two-on-one and scored to cut the lead to 2-1.

Some hectic moments in the defensive zone late in the second and into the third gave the Wolverines some hope to tie the game but some key blocked shots and big saves by Liden, kept the Pistons in front by a goal.

A wild scene broke out in the first five minutes of the third period after Grady Hoffman delivered a hit near the Wolverine's bench, several Wolverine players went after Hoffman and his linemates. 18-year-old Jackson Kostiuk ended up tangling with the 20-year-old Waywayseecappo captain and both were throwing hands wildly, spinning around the ice as the linesperson tried to break it up. 

Both players would be given 5 minutes and a game misconduct for fighting. Hoffman received two minor penalties on the play while the Wolverines were assessed one, so they went to the power play.

Steinbach snuffed out any chances and refused to let the Wolverines build any kind of momentum.

On the only power play they would get all game, the Pistons made sure to cash in.

After making his way into the zone, Chambers found a wide-open Mullen off to the side of the net through the slot. A perfect tape-to-tape pass finished off by a quick shot gave the 20-year-old Mullen his 26th of the year, which has him tied for the team lead. Brandon Funk also picked up an assist on the 3-1 goal.

As time ticked away, Waywayseecappo gambled by pulling their goalie. Mullen, Sauder and Funk were able to knock a puck away at the blue line and the three forwards forced the puck past the red line where Funk dished it over to the open Sauder, and with family cheering him on, Sauder poured it into the empty net for his second of the night and 20th of the year. Mullen capped off a tidy 3-point night with the assist and Funk notched his second point.

4-1 for the visiting team is how the scoreboard would read at the final buzzer.

Liden stood tall when he was called upon, finishing with 24 saves for his 13th win of the season.

Steinbach's power play was 1-1 while the penalty kill was 4-4.

The Pistons will host the Virden Oil Capitals on Saturday night before getting a few days off as they've played the most games in their division to this point.