Steinbach Pistons humble Neepawa Natives



The Steinbach Pistons peppered the Neepawa Natives' net with 51 shots during the game, on route to a 10-3 win on Sunday, Oct. 29.

By Eoin Devereux

Neepawa Banner & Press

If there’s one thing to remember from Neepawa’s recent 10-3 loss to the Steinbach Pistons, it’s that if a team loses by one or 100 goals in the game, it’s still only two points in the standings. We should definitely remember that about this game and quickly forget everything else that transpired on the ice at the Yellowhead Arena on Sunday, Oct. 29.

Heading into this showdown, the previous regular season game between these teams was on Oct. 11 and saw Neepawa claim a decisive 6-1 win. Since that tilt, however, the clubs have been trending in very different directions. Neepawa had dropped five of their past seven games, including a disappointing 6-2 loss to the Winnipeg Blues on Friday, Oct. 27. The Pistons, meanwhile, headed into Sunday night with a four game winning streak on the line.

Recent Pistons pickup Drew Worrad proved to be a one man wrecking crew, scoring a pair of goals just 94 seconds into the game. He’s close out the night with three goals and an assist, good enough to earn the first star of the game. In just seven games with Steinbach this season, the 20-year-old has already accumulated 15 points. Worrad wasn’t the only Steinbach player to have an explosive offensive night, as Brendan Martin, Bradley Schoonbaert and William Koop all ended up with a goal and pair of assists. Tyson McConnell also added a pair of goals, one of which was off a penalty shot in the third period, to put the exclamation point on the blow-out.

Neepawa, for the most part, was completely held in check throughout the game. Forward Justin Metcalf was the only Native to make any major impact on the stat-line, by registering a pair of goals and an assist. Braden Binda put away the other goal for Neepawa, while Nolan Richards had a pair of assists on the night. Goaltender Matthew Thiessen picked up the win with a 28 save effort. In the other crease, Evan Robert and Noah Morin split the duties, though it was Robert who registered the loss on his ledger.  Along with Worrad receiving the first star. Schoonbaert earned second star, while Metcalf was given the third star selection.

Immediately after the game, Natives head coach Dustin Howden was, understandably, not in a talkative mood. The Banner & Press did, however, catch up with the coach the following day, though the frustration of the previous night was still on his mind.

“Steinbach was able to create more opportunities out there [on Sunday night] than us, and they were able to take advantage of those chances,” said Howden. “They did a good job of advancing the puck and keeping us on our heels. What it comes down to, is that we simply need to be better out there, especially on the 5-on-5. Just look at the stats, we scored a pair on the power-play and held them scoreless on their nine [power-play] chances. When you have night like that on special teams, you usually put yourself in a position to win. We didn’t do that here.

Howden added that the team needs to put this game behind them and simply focus on the task at hand, their next game. That upcoming challenge was on Wednesday, Nov. 1 against the Waywayseecappo Wolverines. The results from that game were final after the publication deadline for the Neepawa Banner & Press and will appear in the Nov. 10th edition.