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Pistons head into Christmas on winning note

By: Terry Frey

Posted: 12/23/2018 10:39 AM

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Jolly Old St. Nick made an appearance at the T.G. Smith Centre in Steinbach Saturday night and he came in the form of Steinbach Pistons' forward Brendan Westbrook, who gave Pistons' fans an early Christmas present, scoring the winning goal for the Pistons with 1:28 remaining in the game as the Pistons edged the Selkirk Steelers 4-3.

It was a breakout game for Westbrook as he had two goals and an assist in the game and the Pistons now head into the Christmas break on a winning note, coming on the heels of a disppointing 4-2 loss at the hand of the Winnipeg Blues one night earlier at the Iceplex.

Saturday at home the Pistons led 1-0 after the first on a shortanded marker by Tanner Mole, his 15th of the campaign, with two minutes left in the frame. Steinbach took a 3-1 lead into the third as the Pisons added goals by Tyson McConnell, also his 15th and then Westbrook with his first of the game, which both came on the powerplay.

The Steelers, who have been a handful for the Pistons this year, tied it early in the third on goals by Nate Halvorson and Connor Barley, before Westbrook ended it late in the game.

The Pistons outshot the Steelers 50-27 as Matt Radomsky picked up the win in net for the Pistons.

In Friday's game against the Blues, the Pistons outshot the Blues by a wide margin, 50-31, but had difficulty scoring against Blues' netminder Jeremy Link, who made 48 saves on the night. Link leads all MJHL goaltenders with a .929 save percentage.

It's perhaps a little surprising that Matt Lenz didn't draw the start in net for the Pistons on Friday as just three nights earlier he shutout the Blues on the same ice in a 1-0 Steinbach win. At any rate, Radomsky, in his first start since returning from the World Junior 'A' Challenge, took the loss in net for the Pistons.

Troy Williams and Tanner Mole were the Steinbach goal scorers in the loss to the Blues.

Lenz and Radomsky are the two leading goaltenders in the league. Lenz leads with a 2.18 goals against average, just ahead of Radomsky at 2.19. Lenz is also second in the league with a .924 save percentage while Radomsky is third at .922.

Pistons players have now dispersed for the Christmas season as they have a week off before reconvening. The Pistons remain in a solid position in the league standings, third overall with a record of 24-11-2-0, just three points back of the second place Swan Valley Stampeders and eight behind the leading Portage Terriers. The Pistons are also five points ahead of the fourth place Selkirk Steelers.

After a 10-day break, the Pistons will return to action on Wednesday, Jan. 2, as they travel to Neepawa to take on the last place Natives.

Merry Christmas everyone.

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