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BLIZZARD STAY ALIVE WITH DOUBLE OT WIN IN GAME FIVE – MARCH 16

The OCN Blizzard scored 1:55 into double overtime to keep their season alive with a 4-3 victory over the Winkler Flyers in Game Five of this best of seven opening round series. Entering the game with a 3-1 lead in the series, the Flyers came up on the wrong end of a very tight and entertaining affair up in OCN.

Looking to close out the series and punch their ticket to the second round of the playoffs, the Winkler Flyers met a desperate Blizzard club trying to ensure that Game Five was not their last game of the season.

The Flyers played a solid opening 20 minutes and took a 1-0 lead on a rebound goal by Will Blake just six minutes into the game. Brett Opperman and Brody Moffatt assisted on Blake’s third of the playoffs. It was the fourth time in five games that the Flyers had scored first.

OCN had a very solid push in the second period and tied the game early in the period on a power-play goal by defenseman Riley Bruce. Winkler would get that one right back as Mitch Dyck extended his point streak to 11 games when he sprung Brett Opperman on a breakaway, and the Flyers’ assistant captain made no mistake in putting Winkler back in front 2-1 just 22 seconds later.

The Blizzard kept coming at the Flyers though and tied the game with 7:42 left before intermission and then took their first lead of the game with 2:17 to go and Winkler trailed 3-2 after 40 minutes.

Winkler responded very well in the third and would tie the game just over four minutes in. With five power-play goals scored in the first four games and 12 man advantage goals scored over their last 10 games, Brett Opperman tied the game on the power-play with Will Blake and Lucas Barker getting the helpers. It was Opperman’s team leading fourth goal of the playoffs with all four goals coming on the road.

After some very important penalty-kills by both teams late in the third, overtime was needed for the third time in the series. Then with 1:55 gone in the fifth period, Trygve Many Guns stole the puck from beside the Winkler net and managed to beat Troy Martyniuk to give the Blizzard a 4-3, season saving victory.

The Blizzard outshot the Flyers 37-28 with both teams going 1-for-6 on the power-play.

The Flyers, who still lead the series 3-2, will host OCN in Game Six on Sunday night. Puck drop at the Winkler Rec Complex is 7:30pm with advance tickets at the Winkler/Morden Coop Gas Bars, Petro Canada Gas Bar or at the door prior to the game. You can also catch the game live with Darrell Wheeler on Country 88.9FM and www.pembinavalleyonline.com as well as www.hockeytv.com

NOTE: Flyers F Matt Christian left Game Five in the first period with an injury. Nolan McGuire, Jacob Lacasse, Trent Halfdanson and Griffin Leonard are already out of the Flyers’ line-up due to injury.

GREAT CANADIAN OIL CHANGE THREE STARS
1ST STAR – F TRYGVE MANY GUNS (OCN)
2ND STAR – F BRETT OPPERMAN (WINKLER)
3RD STAR – F WILL BLAKE (WINKLER)

GAME STATS