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Pistons stomp Stampeders to regain first place

By: Terry Frey

Posted: 12/4/2017 7:09 AM

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In this torrid race in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League this season, the Winkler Flyers, Steinbach Pistons and OCN Blizzard have taken their turns atop the MJHL standings.

The Pistons regained top spot in the league Sunday night with a decisive 6-1 victory over the Swan Valley Stampeders at Swan River as the Pistons are now point ahead of the Flyers in first place.

It was the third game in three nights for the Pistons on this road trip, going two-for-three overall after splitting a pair of games at OCN Friday and Saturday to kick-off this northerly trek.

The Pistons opened up a 4-0 first period lead over the Stampeders last night, and never looked back as Matthew Thiessen took care of business in nets and the visitors skated to an easy 6-1 triumph.

Defenceman Mark Wilson opened the scoring for the Pistons just two minutes after the opening face-off. It was the second straight game Wilson has scored in only his second game of the season with the Pistons after being acquired from the Selkirk Steelers, and his third of the season after scoring only once in 23 games with the Steelers.

Rounding out the scoring for the Pistons were Brendan Martin, Austin Heidemann, Braden Purtill, a shorthanded marker by Tanner Mole, and a goal and and assist from MJHL scoring leader Bradley Schoonbaert. Daniel McKitrick chipped in with three assists on the night.

Thiessen, named the MJHL Rookie of the Month for November and the leading goaltender in the league, stopped 24 of 25 shots he faced. Thiessen leads the league with a 2.09 goals against average and is second with a .925 save percentage.

Schoonbaert's two points helped him maintain the scoring lead over Dexter Kuczek of the Blues, who had four points in leading Winnipeg to a 6-5 victory over Dauphin last night. Schoonbaert has 50 points in 29 games, two ahead of Kuczek.

Steinbach improves their record to 21-7-1-0, one point ahead of the Flyers and also with a game in hand on Winkler.

The Pistons return to action this weekend at home with games Friday night against Neepawa and then Satruday versus the OCN Blizzard 

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