Matt Radomsky stopped all 25 shots he faced on route to his third shutout of the season, while his offence picked it up in the third scoring three unanswered in a 3-0 road win vs the Virden Oil Capitals.
Neither team really came out flying in the opening period.
Steinbach got into some penalty trouble including going down 5 on 3 for 36 seconds in the back half of the period.
Radomsky stood tall and the penalty killers were able to kill off all three penalties the team took and finished the period with 12 saves in all.
After a scoreless first, Radomsky was called upon to make one of his best saves of the game as Virden came storming in with speed and used a defender as a screen. Radomsky was able to get a glove on the puck and keep it out and the Oil Caps couldn't find a rebound for another attempt towards the net.
While his team gained traction throughout the game, Radomsky continued to be solid, giving his team a chance to get going offensively as he made 22 saves through 40 minutes.
Steinbach finally got on the board just over six minutes into the third period.
Easton Bennett stormed through the neutral zone and fired a puck towards the net. The Oil Caps netminder was able to stop about 90% of the puck but it wasn't enough as it slipped through and into the back of the net to make it 1-0 Steinbach. Troy Williams had the lone assist on the goal.
Defensively, the Pistons never really allowed Virden to get anything close to offensive pressure in the final period. As a team, they allowed only three total shots in the final 20 minutes.
An insurance goal came from the captain after hard work from Brendan Westbrook along the side boards forced a turnover in the offensive zone. Westbrook kicked the puck down low to Kyle Bettens, who arguably had his strongest game of the year so far, sped behind the net and fired a pass out front to cutting Tyson McConnell who fought off a checker to get right on top of the crease and fire it home to make it 2-0 Pistons. McConnell's marker was his 12th of the year.
Whatever doubt there was left in the game was quelled with just over a minute remaining as Brendan Martin fired home his 15th of the year into an open net to seal the deal. Brady Tatro had the only assist on the 3-0 goal.
The power play didn't get much traction and finished 0-3 while the penalty kill was 3-3.
Top Of The Heap
Matt Radomsky has begun to gain serious interest from multiple schools and when you see the numbers, it's not hard to see why.
The 19-year-old is in his third year as a Piston and has posted some eye-popping numbers.
Radomsky leads in goals-against average: 2.03, tied with the best save percentage .925 and leads the MJHL in shutouts with 3. Radomsky has played over 1100 this year, only four other goalies have played more.
His 13 wins also happen to lead the Manitoba Junior Hockey League and his 40 goals against are the least by any netminder who's played 15 games or more.
Rookie Earns Praise
Since being acquired earlier in the year via trade, Evan Kaufman has come in and has quietly started to find his way in his first year in the MJHL.
The 18-year-old from Winnipeg has earned an increased role and has earned the trust of head coach Paul Dyck. "I thought it was his best game, so far," the coach said after the game. "He's really coming along, playing in all situations, which is really important. He's learning how to play at this level."
Assistant/video coach Graham Pollock has a theory on the position of defence. Prior to the game on Friday night, Pollock said, "defence is the hardest position when it comes to going up a level. Whether it's bantam to midget AAA, AAA to the MJHL or even AHL to NHL, playing defence is tough but when you jump up a level, it's a whole new game. It takes time for younger players to adjust."
The Pistons have the weekend off and will be spending it in Bemidji, Minnesota, spending time around the facility, the Beavers coaching staff and getting to practice on the ice before taking in a game.
Dyck looks forward to these trips but this one is extra special. "Getting to see Darby Gula and Justin Baudry there, it's going to be great," Dyck said post-game. "It gives the guys a real boost getting to see it all but to see those players it's really motivating. Most of our guys kinda know what Division 1 is all about, but getting to talk to guys that are there, it's something we really look forward too."
Regular Schedule... Finally
Steinbach's schedule will get into a bit of a routine over the next couple of weeks. Starting on Tuesday, the Pistons head to Selkirk for a date with the Steelers before returning home for games on Friday night vs Waywayseecappo and Saturday vs Neepawa.