Photo credit - Pederson Photographic
The top two teams in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League are set to square off in a home-and-home this weekend, starting in Steinbach.
The Dauphin Kings open up the weekend on the road at the TG Smith Centre as they take on the Steinbach Pistons. In their recent meeting, Kaden Bryant scored three times as Dauphin earned a convincing 6-2 win at the league's showcase last week.
Since that game, Dauphin won three more games in a row and they are now riding an eight-game winning streak and have reached 20 wins. Remarkably, they reached 20 wins before December even started.
Since that loss meanwhile; Steinbach has also won three games in a row and they now have 18 wins to sit in second place in the league, two points behind Dauphin.
Offensively, Steinbach has a slight edge as they've scored 103 goals while Dauphin has found the back of the net 97 times. However, defensively, just like they are in the standings, Dauphin is on top. The team has given up just 49 goals which averages to just more than two per game. The Winnipeg Blues are the team that's allowed the second fewest with 59 while Steinbach has given up 64.
Dauphin and Steinbach are third and fifth, respectively on the man advantage this season while they are one and two on the penalty kill.
One of the major keys to success for Dauphin when the home-and-home opens on Friday is to allow two or fewer goals. Of their 20 wins, the Kings have given up two or fewer 16 times and they're a perfect 16-0 when doing so.
Dauphin has scored at least four goals in six straight games while Steinbach scored 10 times in last weekend's games against Neepawa
By the numbers:
GF - 97
GA - 49
PP% - 24.5
PK% - 89.2
Road record - 10-2
Leaders - Colby Jaquet 6g, 24a
Kaden Bryant 17g, 12a
Parker Malchuk 6g, 15a
Carson Cherepak 16-3, .929 save percentage, 2.04 goals-against average
GF - 97
GA - 49
PP% - 20.4
PK% - 88.3
Home record - 10-2
Leaders - Dawson Milliken 13g, 14a
Davis Fry 8g, 19a
Jack Rogers 10g, 15a
Simon Harkness 10-4, .899 save percentage, 2.92 goals-against average.