Pistons win first ever MJHL championship; Koop wins MVP award



The Steinbach Pistons won their first ever Manitoba Junior Hockey League Turnbull Cup championship on Wednesday night.

Trent Genyk scored twice to help lead the Pistons to a 3-2 win over the Dauphin Kings in Game 6 of the MJHL final, winning the best-of-seven series 4-2.

The championship win is not only Steinbach's first ever league title but it is a significant achievement for the Pistons franchise considering the club finished with only 13 regular season wins a year ago.

Myles Nykoluk scored what would be the game-winner, putting the Pistons up 3-1 midway through the third period. The Kings mounted a late surge and were able to come to within a goal when Jesse Sinatynski scored with only two minutes remaining. However, the Pistons stood tall and their goaltender Corey Koop played a key role, as the former Neepawa Native kept the Kings shooters from netting the tying goal in the late stages of the game.

Koop's play earned him playoff MVP honours. He was also named the league's top goaltender during the postseason as well.

The Pistons now advance to the inaugural Crescent Point Energy Western Canada Cup in Nanaimo, April 26-May 5. The winner and runner-up of the event will then advance to the RBC Cup in Summerside, PEI.

Joining the host Nanaimo will be the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League champion Yorkton Terriers. Both the AJHL and BCJHL reps have yet to be determined.

In photo: Goaltender Corey Koop (holding Turnbull Cup) celebrates with some of his teammates moments after winning the MJHL championship.

Photo submitted