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Pistons lose, mortal after all

By: Terry Frey

Posted: 02/11/2018 9:25 AM

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The Steinbach Pistons lost 4-3 in overtime to the Dauphin Kings in Manitoba Junior Hockey League action Saturday night in Steinbach.

That in itself, is a head turner. After winning 10 straight games, blowing away all comers along the way, including all of the top contenders, outscoring their opponents by an astounding 63-12 in that win streak, the front-running Pistons have finally tasted defeat again, and it came at the hands of the most unlikely opponent.

The Dauphin Kings are having an awful season with the second worst record in the MJHL, but they came to play Saturday in Steinbach against the vaunted the Pistons, far and away the top team in the loop.

After getting blitzed 8-1 the previous night in Portage, the Kings came to Steinbach on Saturday and beat the Pistons in the most dramatic of fashions as Mccullough Park scored the winning goal for the Kings with only four seconds remaining in the five-minute overtime period.

The Kings skated to period leads of 2-0 and 3-2. Easton Bennett scored the tying goal for the Pistons five minutes into the third. Riese Gaber and Daniel McKitrick had the second period markers for the Pistons. Wilson Northey had a goal and two assists for the Kings.

But the undisputed star of this game was Dauphin goaltender was Brennan Kitchen who made 52 saves for the Kings, as the Pistons outshot the Kings 55-32. Matthew Thiessen took the rare loss in net for the Pistons.

Steinbach's 10th straight win came Saturday night at home in a 7-3 triumph over the Neepawa Natives. Steinbach's top line of Bradley Schoonbaert, Drew Worrad and Austin Heidemann put on a clinic as the line accounted for five goals and 14 points in all.

Worrad led the way with three goals and two assists while league scoring leader Schoonbaert also had a five-point outing on two goals and three helpers, while Heidemann picked up four assists on the night. Schoonbaert leads the league with 83 points in 51 games, including a league-best 33 goals, and has a four-point lead on Dexter Kuczek of the Blues. Worrad is now third in league scoring with 70 points in only 43 games.

With their big win over the Pistons on Saturday, the Kings improved their record to 13-37-1-1. Meanwhile, at the other end of the spectrum, and its hardly time to push the panic button, the Pistons own an incredible 41-8-2-1 record, and have a commanding 14-point lead on the second place Portage Terriers.

Steinbach is idle until next weekend when the Pistons hit the road for games at Swan River and Dauphin Friday and Saturday and then return home to host the Winkler Flyers on Louis Riel Day (Feb. 19) in a 2:30 p.m. start at the T.G. Smith Centre.

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