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Pistons crush Terriers, inch closer to pennant

By: Terry Frey

Posted: 02/1/2018 8:05 AM

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If last week's 10-1 thrashing of the Winkler Flyers was a statement game for the Steinbach Pistons, and most would agree it was, the Pistons stepped up and issued  another major statement Wednesday night at Portage as the first-place Pistons blasted the second place Portage Terriers 8-2.

A close game through 40 minutes, that saw the Pistons cling to a 3-2 lead, the visitors exploded for five unansered goals in the third to a skate to a very-convincing 8-2 triumph over the three-time defending champion Terriers.

Tyson McConnell paced the Pistons with two goals, his 18th and 19th of the season. Singles came from Daniel McKitrick and Riese Gaber, each with their 20th of the season; Austin Heidemann and Drew Worrad, each with their 19th; Easton Bennett with his 10th and Luke Bellerose, with his first since joining the Pistons a few weeks ago.

Meanwhile, Bradley Schoonbaert picked up four assists on the night, giving him 74 points this season and and is tied for the MJHL scoring lead with Dexter Kuczek of the Blues. Defenceman Darby Gula added three assists on the night as the league's highest-scoring rearguard now has 54 points, 10th overall in the scoring race.

Matthew Thiessen picked up the win in net making 18 saves as the Pistons outshot the Terriers 38-20.

The Pistons, who have now seven straight, outscoring their opponents 45-6 in those games, lead the MJHL standings with a 38-8-1-1 record and a commanding 14-point lead on the second place Virden Oil Capitals. Virden moved one point past Portage into second last night with a 4-1 win at Wayway.

Steinbach returns to action Saturday night against the Winnipeg Blues with the puck drop at 7:00 p.m. at Bell MTS Iceplex.

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