The Winkler Flyers four game road losing streak came to an emphatic end on Friday night with a 6-2 victory over the Steelers in Selkirk. Nathan Poolman and Jaden Townsend both scored twice to help the Flyers earn their 35th win of the season and third straight against the Steelers.
Coming into the game having lost their last three games in a row and four of their last five, the Flyers continued their stretch of five straight games on the road in Selkirk. Having fallen short in their last four games played away from home, the Flyers returned to the same arena where they picked up their last road win which was a 3-2 overtime win in Selkirk on January 24th.
Just past the halfway point of the first period, the Flyers opened the scoring on the power-play when Nathan Poolman’s one timer from the right slot sailed past the goaltender, giving Winkler a 1-0 lead. Eric Fawkes and Kaeden Tenkoppel assisted on Poolman’s 11th of the season and Winkler’s first power-play goal in four games.
The Steelers got that one right back when they jumped on a Winkler turnover and scored on a 2-on-1. Just seconds before the first period would come to a close, the Flyers regained the lead as Captain Jaden Townsend managed to tip in Nathan Poolman’s point shot, scoring for the fourth straight game. Griffin Leonard added an assist as well and the Flyers carried their 2-1 lead into the intermission.
With just under seven minutes left in the middle period, the Steelers tied the game with a power-play goal of their own as leading scorer Blake Burr tipped a point shot past goaltender Dorrin Luding. But just like they did in the first period, the Flyers went back in front with a goal in the final minute of the period. After stealing the puck from a Selkirk forward in the Winkler zone, Ian Tookenay spotted Griffin Leonard up in the neutral zone. After a determined effort to get around the Steelers’ defense, Leonard scored a beautiful back hand goal for his 25th of the season to give the Flyers a 3-2 lead after two periods.
The turning point in the game came early in the third period when the Steelers went on a 5-on-3 power-play looking to even up the score for a third time. But not only did the Flyers manage to kill it off, they were able to score their league best 10th short-handed goal of the season thanks to an unbelievable individual effort by Nathan Poolman who took the puck coast to coast before giving Winkler a 4-2 lead with his second goal of the game.
It was all Winkler from there, as Kyle Lamoureux scored his second goal in as many games to push the Flyers ahead by three and just 50 seconds later, Jaden Townsend added his second goal of the night to make the score 6-2 for the visitors.
Dorrin Luding was rock solid between the pipes for Winkler earning his 24th win of the season. The Flyers outshot the Steelers 33-29. Winkler went 1-for-5 on the power-play and 3-for-4 on the penalty-kill.
The Flyers (35-15-5) are now just one point behind the 2nd place Portage Terriers and six points ahead of the 4th place Swan Valley Stampeders as they prepare to travel to Steinbach on Monday afternoon for their final road game of the 2019-2020 regular season. Puck drop at the TG Smith Centre is 2:30pm on Monday afternoon with Matt Friesen’s pregame show getting underway at 2:25pm. You can also video stream the game on www.hockeytv.com. The Flyers are 3-2 this season against the MJHL’s top ranked team.