Lawson McDonald scored a pair of goals to help the Winkler Flyers defeat the Swan Valley Stampeders 4-1 in the first game of their three game northern road trip. Dasan Sydora also made 34 saves on 35 shots as the Orange and Black snapped a three game losing streak.
Still in search of their first road win since November 23rd, the Flyers returned to the Swan River Centennial Arena looking for their third win in as many games against the Stampeders. In their two previous meetings, the Flyers had outscored Swan by a count of 10-1.
The Flyers had a strong opening period on Friday night but could not translate their chances into goals. Winkler outshot the Stampeders 13-7 in the first period and went into the intermission in a scoreless tie.
Winkler managed to beat Stamps’ goaltender Graham Hunt just 38 seconds into the second period when Patrice Wren tipped in Connor Hamonic’s point shot and the Flyers had a 1-0 lead. Cam Whyte assisted on the captain’s 12th of the season.
Just under five minutes later, Lawson McDonald buried his ninth of the season during a goal mouth scramble and the Flyers lead had doubled to 2-0. Brett Klassen and former Stampeder Jagger Thomas drew the assists. Near the end of the period, Klassen sent Bryce Enns into the Stampeders zone and the 20 year old Cartwright native fired in a wrister from the top of the circle pushing Winkler ahead 3-0 with 2:08 on the clock.
The Flyers would add to their lead again in the third period, with this goal coming on a 5-on-3 power-play. With 8:42 to play in regulation, Cam Whyte and Jagger Thomas each picked up their second assist of the night on McDonald’s second goal of the game and 10th of the season.
The third period was definitely in busiest period for goaltender Dasan Sydora who had his shutout bid broken with 5:49 to play in regulation when the Stamps cut Winkler’s lead to 4-1.
Winkler would buckle down the rest of the way and skate away with the 4-1 road victory. Dasan Sydora made 34 saves on 35 shots while earning his 21st win of the season. Both teams finished the game with 35 shots on goal. The win snapped the Flyers three game losing streak and seven game losing streak on the road. The Flyers went 1-for-2 on the power-play and 2-for-2 on the penalty-kill.
Along with McDonald’s two goals, Brett Klassen, Cam Whyte and Jagger Thomas all recorded multi-point games with two assists each. Thomas’ assists were his first points as a member of the Flyers.
The Flyers (25-13-7) will continue their road trip, Saturday night in OCN (16-23-4). The Flyers are (3-0-2) against the Blizzard this season. You can catch the game live from the Gordon Lathlin Memorial Centre on Country 88.9FM and online at www.pembinavalleyonline.com with Matt Friesen’s pregame show at 6:55pm.