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Road to the RBC Cup: Steinbach Pistons Hoping to Win First National Title

By Sam Laskaris on March 02, 2017

Steinbach Pistons head coach/GM Paul Dyck is hoping to lead the Manitoba Junior Hockey League squad to this year's RBC Cup tournament. (Courtesy of the Steinbach Pistons)

Paul Dyck has had his share of successes since taking over the Steinbach Pistons’ head coaching and managerial duties in 2012.

Dyck led the Pistons to a Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL) championship in 2013. And his squad advanced to the league finals in each of the past two seasons.

As for the current campaign, the goal for Dyck and his charges has been to participate in the RBC Cup, the national Junior A championship.

This year’s Canadian tournament will be staged May 13 to 21. The Ontario Junior Hockey League’s Cobourg Cougars will be hosting the five-team national event.

The Pistons are not hiding the fact they would love to not only compete in but also win their first national championship this season. The club has a sign by its dressing room with this year’s RBC Cup logo on it.

“When the boys walk out of the dressing room they see that sign,” Dyck said. “It reminds them of why they are here. Everybody is aware of it. And we’ve made it clear what our goals are.”

The Pistons have already accomplished one of their goals, winning the MJHL regular season title.

Steinbach, which has two regular season contests remaining, is sporting a mark of 47-10-1, good for top spot in the 11-team MJHL.

The Pistons are guaranteed home-ice advantage throughout their own league playoffs.

Dyck believes the fact his squad advanced to the MJHL finals in each of the past two years will also prove to be beneficial in the upcoming postseason. His current roster includes 12 returnees from the 2015-16 campaign.

“Reflecting on our finals a lot of guys now realize what it takes to be a champion,” Dyck said.

Steinbach’s roster also includes one player, captain Jordan Bochinski, who played a small role with the organization during its 2013 league championship. Bochinski was an affiliate player with the Pistons during his final Midget season, appearing in a handful of regular season games with the Steinbach club and travelling with the team for some playoff matches.

Though the Pistons’ ultimate goal is to make it to Cobourg in May, if they keep winning they will still have plenty of steps along the way in order to accomplish that.

Just to win the MJHL crown, they will need to rack up 12 victories in three series. That in itself is expected to be a tough challenge as the league currently has five other clubs with winning records.

The team that does end up winning the MJHL title will then advance to the Western Canada Cup, which begins Apr. 29 and continues until May 2 in Penticton, B.C.

This tourney, hosted by the British Columbia Hockey League’s Penticton Vees, will be a five-team affair. The two finalists will advance to the nationals.

Besides the host Vees and the MJHL champs, the Western Canada Cup will also include the BCHL champs (or finalists if Penticton wins), the Alberta Junior Hockey League champs and the winners of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League.

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By Sam Laskaris| March 02, 2017
Categories:  Junior|Events

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