Story by Dave Anthony
Players have made their way to town, exhibition games are well underway and coaches are optimistic with sights set high, it’s time to start the new season!
We asked each head coach a number of questions as they prepare for the season and here’s what they had to say!
Steinbach Pistons – 2020/21 (5-1-1-0)
Leading scorers: Ty Naaykens (3g, 9ast for 12 pts), Matthew Osadick (6g, 4ast for 10pts)
Key graduating players: Curtis Ireland, Codey Behun, Rylan Bettens, Caydin Cleland
Season outlook: A whole lot of turnover came for the Steinbach Pistons since they last hit the ice many months ago. While the faces may have changed, the motto “Character, Leadership and Integrity” remain the same. Steinbach will welcome in some top talent and look very strong on the blueline boasting a top four that may end up being the envy of the league. There’s room for this team to grow but expect Steinbach to have another strong season.
Q & A with Pistons Head Coach & General Manager, Paul Dyck
Question: Which team are you most looking forward to developing/continuing a rivalry with?
Answer: I am looking forward to renewing rivalries with every team. We have a natural rivalry with Winkler and both teams’ fans travel so that usually intensifies the rivalry.
Q: What kind of team can fans expect?
A: Time will tell exactly what our identity will be. With a good percentage of our team being new to our league and to junior hockey it’s difficult to predict. I do expect us to be a team that competes shift in and shift out and one that plays and entertaining brand of hockey.
Q: Which returning player should fans be really excited to see?
A: I believe all of our returning players are ready to assume a greater role and are poised to take their game to the next level. Quinton Pepper was really coming on just before we paused last season and will likely be one of the players to take a lead role.
Q: Is there a new player that fans will come to love?
A: We have a number of new players that are fans will grow fond of as the season goes on. We have a blend of skill, grit, toughness, and speed being added to the roster so I think there will options for our fans when selecting their favorite player.
Q: What are you most looking forward to about this upcoming season?
A: There is a list of items to be honest with you. I am excited about getting back on the ice with our staff and working with our players, getting back on a bus with our team again, connecting with our fans and corporate supporters at our games, watching our players get involved in our community and developing new friendships, and hopefully playing in front of a full building again at some point this season.
Q: Which visiting arena are you most looking forward to playing in again?
A: Portage, it’s always a battle for us there and the building is at a comfortable temperature.
Q: On the road, which restaurant are you most looking forward to eating at for pre or post game meal?
A: Y-Not Johnny’s is at the top of our list each year it seems.
Q: What movie do you hope the team puts on for a long bus ride home after a big win?
A: I would prefer Shawshank Redemption but would be okay with Moneyball or Bull Duram.
Q: Do you have your first game suit all picked out already? What color will it be? What color is the tie? Shoes?
A: Navy Suit, Silver tie, Brown wingtip shoes