The top two teams in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League locked horns on Friday night in Steinbach and when the dust settled, it was the home town Pistons coming away with a 5-1 win over the Selkirk Steelers, extending their recent win streak to 5 games.
The Pistons came out and got the fans on their feet quickly with two goals in the first period. First, Ryan Carlson collected his 7th of the season and third goal in two games, with a great shot from the point that found the back of the net, with the assists going to Drew Anderson and Jack Johnson.
Another Steinbach defenseman got into the scoring act, when Joseph Leonidas broke into the offensive zone, taking a picture perfect pass from Mack Graham and rifling it home to make it 2-0 Steinbach. A special moment for Leonidas, who after finding the back of the net, pointed to the stands where his family was sitting. It was their first opportunity to see their son play in Steinbach Pistons colours. Leonidas had 6 goals on the year and 14 points in 17 games.
In the second, the wear and tear of the recent schedule began to show as the Pistons seemed just a half stride off of where they usually would be. Selkirk put on the pressure and were rewarded with a goal to make it a 2-1 game heading into the third period.
In the final frame, Steinbach's depth proved too much for the Steelers to handle and the Pistons pulled away with three goals in the first 10 minutes of the period. Bradley Schoonbaert showed off some soft hands after a hard working shift from his line of Graham and Will Koop, Schoonbaert had the puck in the slot, waited just long enough to freeze the Selkirk defenders and buried a backhand for his 22nd of the year.
Jordan Bochinski then showed off his speed as he collected a loose puck around the defensive blue line and rushed the puck into the Selkirk zone before snapping off a beautiful shot that fooled the Steelers net minder to make it a 4-1 lead. For the captain, it was goal 14 on the year and his first goal in 13 games. With the goal, he's tied his goal output from last season and done so in 14 less games.
Tyson McConnell added the final nail sliding home his 11th of the year from Carlson and Wyatt Hinson. That's all the scoring the fans would see as the Pistons improved to 38-6-1 on the season, good for 77 points.
Roman Bengert was named the games first star as the 20 year old was again solid between the pipes making 26 saves.
The power play went 0-3 including having a full 2:00 5 on 3, while the penalty kill was 3-3.
The Pistons will wrap up the toughest part of their schedule on Saturday night vs the Winnipeg Blues. For Steinbach, they'll have played 7 games in 12 nights.
Tyler Anderson served game 1 of his 2 game suspension.
Roman Bengert is 5th in the CJHL in wins with 27.
Tyson McConnell has 5 points in his past 4 games.