Jordan Williamson scored the winning goal in the sixth round of the shootout and Connor Slipp made the game winning save in his Flyers debut as the Winkler Flyers beat the Swan Valley Stampeders 3-2 in a shootout on Saturday night. Braden Billaney and Zak Hicks scored the Flyers’ regulation goals to help Winkler pick up their ninth win of the season.
On the heels of Friday night’s 6-3 loss in OCN, the Flyers were looking for a much better effort against the Stampeders.
After a scoreless first period in which the Flyers outshot Swan Valley 11-9, the Stampeders scored the game’s first goal on the power-play, 2:29 into the second. Just at the tail end of some 4-on-4 action, former Flyer Evan Last stepped into a shot, giving the home town Stampeders a 1-0 lead.
Winkler dominated the second half of the second period, and were rewarded for their efforts near the end of the frame. After some great puck possession by the Flyers down low in the Stampeders’ zone, Coltyn Bates found Braden Billaney in the slot and the 17 year old rookie picked the top corner for his first of the year, tying the game 1-1 with 1:19 left in the second. Winkler outshot Swan Valley 17-5 in the period and skated into the second intermission tied at a goal a piece.
The Stamps regained the lead when Josh Martin scored on a partial breakaway with 3:40 gone in the third period. Winkler would draw even again with a power-play goal just past the eight minute mark of the period. After taking the pass from Tristan Keck, Cam Whyte found Zak Hicks at the blueline and the third year Flyer hammered home his seventh of the year, tying the game 2-2.
With the Flyers leading on the shot clock 35-23 through three periods of play, the two teams were headed to overtime tied 2-2. After overtime solved nothing, the game was headed to a shootout. Winkler did not have much luck in the shootout last season, finishing with a 2-9 record in the 11 games decided by the shootout.
Winkler’s Nico Labossiere and Swan Valley’s Cody Ellingson both scored in the second round of the competition. Those were the other goals scored until round six. Jordan Williamson put Winkler in front 2-1 in the competition with the first shot of the sixth round and Connor Slipp stopped Stamps’ forward Keaton Jameson to secure the victory for Winkler.
Slipp (1-0) made 21 saves on 23 shots in his Flyers’ debut, and stopped five of the six shootout attempts. Winkler outshot Swan Valley 40-23 overall. The Flyers went 1-for-3 on the power-play and 0-for-1 on the penalty-kill.
The Flyers (9-3-1) will conclude their three game road trip, Saturday night in Virden (6-4) in their first meeting of the season against the Oil Capitals. The Flyers and Oil Caps have not met since Virden eliminated the Flyers in six games in the MJHL Quarterfinals during the 2014-2015 campaign.
You can catch Saturday night’s game live on County 88.9FM and online at www.pembinavalleyonline.com with Matt Friesen’s pregame show getting underway at 7:25pm from Tundra Oil and Gas Place in Virden.
Great Canadian Oil Change Three Stars
1st Star – D Lawson McDonald – Winkler
2nd Star – G Zach De Graves – Swan Valley
3rd Star – G Connor Slipp – Winkler
Winkler Canvas Hardest Worker
F Braden Billaney – Winkler