It was a game of bad breaks, missed opportunities and untimely penalties as the Winkler Flyers fell 5-2 to the OCN Blizzard at the MJHL Showcase in Winnipeg. Collin Caulfield and Will Blake both scored power-play goals for the Flyers who end the night in a second place tie with OCN in the league standings.
After a 5-0 win over the Waywayseecappo Wolverines the night before, the Flyers went back to goaltender Troy Martyniuk in search of their second win of the season against the Blizzard. The Flyers were all over OCN in the opening minutes but failed to get the puck past Blizzard goaltender Emilien Boily. That would prove to be the theme all game long.
The Blizzard scored first on a goal mouth scramble just over eight minutes into the game and would take that 1-0 lead into the break. Two more goals from the top of the crease in the first seven minutes of the second gave OCN and three goal lead and put Winkler in a hole.
They started to climb out of it just a few minutes later when defenseman Collin Caulfield scored a power-play goal to cut OCN’s lead to 3-1. Matt Christian and Will Blake assisted on Caulfield’s second of the year. Later in the period, Winkler went back on the power-play and made it a one goal game thanks to Will Blake’s second goal in as many games to make the score 3-2 for the Blizzard. Nolan McGuire and Garrett Kuklica picked up the helpers on the assistant captain’s eighth of the season.
Winkler carried the play in the third and outshot the Blizzard 19-9 in the final period but Boily continued to keep his team in the lead. The Blizzard took advantage of an undisciplined Winkler penalty midway through the third, scoring their second power-play goal of the game and increasing their lead to 4-2.
Winkler had two power-plays of their own in the final five minutes, but despite their best efforts they were unable to find the mark. The Blizzard scored an empty net goal with just under two minutes left in regulation to skate away with a 5-2 victory.
Troy Martyniuk played well in the loss as the Flyers outshot OCN 41-33. Both teams were 2-for-5 on the power-play.
The Flyers (22-11-0) will now prepare for their final weekend before the Christmas break. They will play the Terriers in Portage on Friday night in a game you can hear on Country 88.9FM and online at www.pembinavalleyonline.com. Then on Saturday, the two teams will square off in Winkler in the last Winkler Flyers home game until January 9th. Puck drop both nights is 7:30pm.
GREAT CANADIAN OIL CHANGE THREE STARS
1ST STAR – G EMILIEN BOILY (0CN)
2ND STAR – D MATTHEW GREENING (OCN)
3RD STAR – F WILL BLAKE (WINKLER)