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BAD FIRST PERIOD COSTS FLYERS IN VIRDEN – FEBRUARY 16

The Winkler Flyers saw their short two game winning streak come to an end with a 5-2 loss in Virden on Friday night. The Orange and Black fell behind early and failed to recover, losing their fourth game in five tries against the Oil Caps.

Coming into the game winners of four of their last five games overall, the Flyers were looking to get their first win against Virden since their first meeting of the season back in October. Having given up the first goal of the game in the four previous meetings, the Flyers also found themselves down 1-0 in this one as Dylan Thiessen deflected a point shot out of mid-air and past Winkler starter Troy Martyniuk to give the Oil Caps the lead just over four minutes into the game.

Virden scored twice more before intermission and the Flyers trailed 3-0 after 20 minutes while being outshot 11-9. That would be the end of the night for Troy Martyniuk as he would be replaced by Aaron Brunn between the pipes for Winkler to start the second.

Winkler played much better in the second, generating a significant number of chances but it was the Oil Caps who would get the next one with 8:29 left in the period. Then with 3:19 remaining in the second, Matt Christian got the puck in the right slot and snapped a shot into the far side of the net and Winkler was on the board. Coltyn Bates and Matt Krawiec assisted on Christian’s team leading 28th of the season and Virden’s lead had been cut to 4-1.

Still playing well in the third, the Flyers scored again with 7:30 gone in the period to make it a 4-2 Virden lead. Again it was the line of Matt Christian, Coltyn Bates and Weiland Parrish getting the job done, with Parrish firing home his 19th of the season. That line now has a combined 29 points in the last six games.

However, any momentum the Flyers got from that goal was quickly snuffed out as Virden scored again just 58 seconds later to regain their three goal lead.

Goaltender Aaron Brunn played well in relief, making 23 saves on 25 shots. Troy Martyniuk made 8 saves on the 11 shots he faced in the first period. The Oil Capitals outshot Winkler 36-32 overall. Winkler was 0-for-1 on the power-play and 1-for-2 on the penalty-kill.

The Flyers (32-22-0) will travel up to Swan River to face the Swan Valley Stampeders (23-22-6) on Saturday night. You can catch the game live on Country 88.9FM and online at www.pembinavalleyonline.com with Matt Friesen’s pregame show getting underway at 7:25pm. You can also stream the game live on www.hockeytv.com.

NOTE: Flyers Captain Nolan McGuire made his return to the lineup after missing the last seven games due to injury. Jacob Lacasse and Brody Moffatt missed Friday’s game due to injury.

GREAT CANADIAN OIL CHANGE THREE STARS
1ST STAR – F DYLAN THIESSEN (VIRDEN)
2ND STAR – F MATT CHRISTIAN (WINKLER)
3RD STAR – F TYLER KIRKUP (VIRDEN)

GAME STATS