The Winkler Flyers defeated the visiting Winnipeg Blues 4-1 on Monday night to kick off their eight game preseason schedule. The contest was a rookie game featuring the up and coming young guns for both squads.
The Blues were the stronger team out of the gate. Winnipeg took the lead at the 16:22 mark of the opening period when Nolan Parrington jammed the puck past Flyers netminder Jared Schletty. Schletty played a strong first half making 18 saves on 19 shots.
Sixteen year old Tyler Guttenberg would replace Schletty between the pipes and would shut the door the rest of the way stopping all 18 shots he faced. The Flyers offense also got rolling in the second half of the game.
Newcomer Matt Crist drew the Flyers even, half way through the second frame while on a 5-on-3 powerplay. Jordan Denesiuk and Sam Ramsay drew the assists. On the ensuing 5-on-4 man-advantage, Austin Douglas and Scott Gall assisted on T.J. Sneath’s goal to put the Flyers ahead 2-1.
With under five minutes to play in the second the Flyers increased their lead to 3-1. Morris native Tristan Keck wired a shot past the Blues goaltender with Douglas and Zack Heisinger picking up the helpers.
Sneath would add his second of the game with 3:27 to play in regulation to give the Flyers a 4-1 victory. Riley Kolesar and Scott Gall picked up the assists.
There was another round of cuts following the game which brings the number of players still in camp to 39.
Winkler will host the Selkirk Steelers on Thursday night in their second of eight pre-season games to start the 2012-2013 Manitoba Junior Hockey League season. Puck drop at the Winkler Recreation Complex is 7:30pm.