The Winkler Flyers 25 man opening night roster has been announced and it includes a lot of familiar faces. With 11 key returning players from last year’s squad, the 2015-2016 Flyers are anticipating one of their most successful seasons in recent memory.
With six of the Flyers top 10 point getters from 2014-2015 returning for another season and five of the clubs seven defenseman back on the blueline, the Winkler Flyers of 2015-2016 are expected to surpass last year’s results. Finishing in fourth place in the MJHL Standings with a (31-17-12) record, the Flyers are ready to improve upon those numbers as they celebrate their 35th season in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League.
Reigning Manitoba Junior Hockey League MVP Tristan Keck headlines the list of returning players. He led the entire league last year with 43 goals in 59 games played. The fourth year Flyer is joined up front by fellow 20 year old’s Cam Whyte and Kayden Jarvis. Morden native Scott Gall, Nolan McGuire, and Jeff Michiels are also back for another season. Joining them upfront is a good mixture of Junior A veterans and talented rookies who have had success at the AAA level and elsewhere.
The Defense corps is expected to be the strength of the Orange and Black this season with five players returning from the 2014-15 team. Twenty year olds Zak Hicks and Nathan Karlowsky are joined by recently announced 19 year old Captain Connor Hamonic. Lawson McDonald is also back for his third season. Winkler product Jordan Wall is back for his second go around. Joining the blueline is Winkler native Mitch Dyck, Bemidji State University commit Tyler Jubenvill and Minnesota native Tyler Lindtrom.
Goaltenders Ryan Larochelle, who played last season with the Humbolt Broncos (SJHL) and was acquired by the Flyers in the summer, is joined between the pipes by rookie Clarke Flegel, who led the Regina Pat Canadians to a bronze medal at the Telus Cup AAA Midget National Championship this past spring.
Head Coach and General Manager Ken Pearson has assembled a very talented team comprised primarily of local Manitoba players. Of the 25 players on the opening day roster, 18 are from Manitoba. Nine of those are from the Pembina Valley with five of those players calling Winkler/Morden home.
The Flyers will travel to Steinbach on Friday, September 25th to play the Pistons in their 2015-16 Regular Season opener. You can catch the game live on COUNTRY 88FM and online at www.pembinavalleyonline.com with Matt Friesen’s pregame show at 7:25pm. Winkler will host the Pistons in their Regular Season Home Opener on Saturday, September 26th. Make sure to come early for a special pregame game ceremony.
Friday, September 25th is the deadline to pick up your VIP Pass for the Early Bird price of $225. The pass, which regularly goes for $275 includes a reserved seat sticker. The passes can be purchased at the Winkler Coop Gas Bar.