The Steinbach Pistons got a pair of goals from Boedey Vateh and Matt Radomsky made 18 saves for his second shutout of the year as Steinbach defeated the rival Winkler Flyers 3-0 at the TG Smith Centre on Tuesday night.
Did I Do That
In the first period, both teams struggled to find much offence. After killing a penalty, Steinbach had three consecutive power plays, including a 5 on 3 for just under a minute but failed to capitalize.
The best chance came when it looked like Brendan Martin had opened the scoring but the goal was waved off as Boedey Vaeth was deemed to have interfered with the Winkler goalie.
Not only was the goal called back but Vaeth was given a goalie interference penalty, which Steinbach ultimately killed off.
It remained scoreless after 20 minutes with Steinbach leading in shots 9-4.
Top Line Tip Top
In the second, a hard-working shift by the Pistons top line produced the first goal.
Brendan Martin worked up along the boards, battling with Flyers defender before freeing up the puck to Brady Tatro who was below the goalie line. As Tatro motioned as if he was going to go around the goal, Boedey Vaeth cut a path to the net and Tatro put a perfect pass right on the tape and Vaeth made no mistake for his first of the night and 9th goal of the year to make it 1-0 Steinbach under two minutes into the period.
Both teams had some more chances than they did in the first but both Matt Radomsky for Steinbach and Britt League for Winkler were strong in goal.
Vaeth wasn't done in the period. With under three minutes remaining, Martin controlled the puck inside the Winkler blueline and heard Troy Williams holler for a pass. Martin hit Williams in stride and as the defender drifter over to cover a possible shot, Williams waited, put it back the other way and right onto the waiting blade of Vaeth who tucked home his second of the night and 10th of the year to push the lead to 2-0 Steinbach.
Winkler outshot Steinbach in the middle frame 10-7 but the home team took the lead into the break.
In the final period, the captain put the game out of reach as Tyson McConnell took a great seam pass from Kyle Bettens and made no mistake for his 11th of the year, giving Steinbach a 3-0 lead. Jack Kilroy had the other assist on the goal and pushed his point streak to 5 straight games.
The Pistons clamped down and Radomsky was solid and finished off the shutout making 18 saves overall.
The power play failed to click finishing 0-4 on the night and the penalty kill was a perfect 3-3.
Paul Dyck, head coach of the Pistons, was quite satisfied with his team's effort on the night. "I thought we had great energy early (in the second) and then I thought we kinda backed off a bit but we resumed our pace as the game went on. It wasn't the prettiest game tonight, maybe not the most entertaining but a 3-0 win, with a very solid defensive effort, we'll take that."
Depth is a strength that Steinbach has used to their advantage and Tuesday night was no different as all four lines and six defencemen rolled all evening. "All our lines can take defensive zone faceoffs. We're not overly concerned with matchups. We have four games this week, we didn't want to tax guys with the amount of hockey we have in the next six days."
Vaeth hit double digits in goals with his two on the night. After missing most of last season and coming to the Pistons this year, Dyck has been nothing but impressed by the 20-year-old. "He does a lot of good things. The right things consistently. Early on, we had him on all four lines, different combinations and now he's kinda found a home with Marty and Tatro. He really compliments the other two."
Dyck was also impressed with a pair of blueliners who he believes have taken massive steps towards becoming top defencemen in the league: Tristan Culleton and Declan Graham. "Those guys were solid. I think that's the expectations for those two, they have to be rocks. Moving pucks, good defensive sticks. We have them playing with first-year defenders, so they bring confidence to the guys they're playing with. They were definitely leaders tonight."
Call Him Matt Luongo Or Roberto Radomsky
Matt Radomsky has shown all year that he can make a standards save, a spectacular save, a down and out style save and a save that will have everyone in the building (teammates and the shooter included) wonder how in the world he was able to stop that from going into the net.
With all that said, Dyck might be most impressed with the mental strength shown by the 19-year-old from Winnipeg. "There's no question he has grown in mental strength the last couple of years. The last two years he's had some challenges but has played extremely well through them. He's one of our quiet leaders. He doesn't wear a letter but he certainly has the capability. We've never gone the Roberto Luongo path (of a goalie wearing a letter as Luongo did in Vancouver), but there's no question he's a leader in our room. He exudes confidence and gives his team confidence. He gives us a chance to win every night. He didn't have to make the game-saving save tonight but just real steady and solid.
Blue Into Purple
Steinbach wore special jersey's that were auctioned off after the game with proceeds going to Cancer Care Manitoba. The team raised over $2600 for charity and Dyck, who's been a part of a number of these games in the past, knows it means a lot to his team. "It's really special, all of us have friends or family that have been touched by the disease. This year, we went Mo-vember. At the end of the day, it's all for cancer research and we're thankful to help in a small way."
Last Year's Then, This Year Is Now
Steinbach returns to Virden on Thursday, it'll be the first time the team returns to the sight where they hoisted the MJHL's Turnbull Cup last season but as Dyck says, that's then and there's a job to do now. "That's last year," the coach says with a smile, "we've had to turn the page. There will be some fond memories in that building but two different hockey teams now and for us, there's two poitns on the line and we want to keep climbing up the standings and keep growing as a team. We want to go in and play well."
Steinbach is back at home for a massive weekend set vs the Swan Valley Stampeders on Saturday and Sunday night.