Dasan Sydora kicked aside 30 of the 31 shots he faced as the Winkler Flyers held on for the 2-1 over the Blizzard in OCN. Bryce Enns scored his second game winner in as many nights, as the Flyers picked up two points in OCN for the first time in nearly three years.
A day after earning a 3-2 win in Dauphin beginning their three game weekend trek, the Orange and Black made their way to the Gordon Lathlin Memorial Centre in OCN for their fifth meeting of the season against the Blizzard. With two wins, an overtime loss and a shootout loss in the first four contests, Winkler was looking to extend their winning streak to three, in a building that had not produced many positive results in recent memory. In fact, the last time the Flyers won a game in OCN was December 10th of 2011.
After killing off an early penalty, the Flyers started getting some pressure on OCN goaltender Devon Fordyce. Just over five and a half minutes into the game, Fordyce coughed up the puck behind the net and Zach Heisinger carried it to the front of the goal and scored his fifth of the season into the empty Blizzard net.
Winkler had numerous chances to increase their lead in the opening period, but settled for a 1-0 lead through 20 minutes of play.
The Blizzard caught a break of their own early in the second when OCN leading scorer Grant Valiquette slid the puck towards the goal, and beat a screened Dasan Sydora between the pad and the post, tying the game 1-1, 4:51 into period number two.
The two teams skated into the second intermission tied 1-1 with the Blizzard now outshooting the Flyers 16-14 through 40 minutes.
The pace and the physical play increased in the third period and the Flyers managed to regain the lead just over three minutes in. Picking up a loose puck in the neutral zone, Bryce Enns carried it down the left wing on a two on one. From the bottom of the circle, Enns wired a wrist shot over the blocker arm of Fordyce and under the cross bar giving the Flyers a 2-1 advantage. It was the Cartwright native’s fifth goal of the season and second in as many games.
For the next 17 minutes, Dasan Sydora and the rest of the Winkler Flyers held on to preserve their one goal lead and eventually earn their 16th victory of the season.
Sydora finished the game with 30 saves as the Blizzard outshot the Flyers 31-25 overall. The 20 year old increased his record to 12-2-1 on the year. Winkler went 0-for-3 on the power-play and 2-for-2 on the penalty-kill.
Winkler (16-5-5) will play their third game in three nights when they travel to Waywayseecappo (7-15-2) on Sunday night for their fifth game of the season against the last place Wolverines. The Flyers have three wins in their previous four meetings against Wayway.
Puck drop in Waywayseecappo is 7:30pm with Matt Friesen’s pregame show live on Country 88.9FM and online at www.pembinavalleyonline.com getting underway at 7:25pm.
NOTE: Flyers forward Scott Gall left the game in the second period with an injury. He will be re-evaluated in the coming days.