The Winkler Flyers kicked off their three game weekend road trip with a 5-2 win over the Natives in Neepawa on Friday night. Weiland Parrish scored twice and CJ Corazzin chipped in with three helpers as the Orange and Black earned their 18th win of the season.
Playing each other for the fifth time already this season, the Flyers were back on the road needing a good start to get past the pesky Natives. With three of their eight regular season losses coming against Neepawa, the Flyers were looking to get an early jump on their opponent having scored the first goal of the game just three times in their previous eleven outings.
After a scoreless first period, Winkler started the second on the power-play and would take a 1-0 lead just 36 seconds into the period. It was defenseman Brady Pupp, who took a cross ice pass from Coltyn Bates and wired in his third of the season to put Winkler on the board first. The Natives scored a power-play goal of their own a few minutes later to tie the game 1-1.
With 9:30 left in the middle frame, Neepawa defenseman Sam Stewart beat Winkler goaltender Troy Martyniuk through a screen and the Flyers found themselves down for the first time in the game. But not even two minutes later, the Flyers drew even thanks to some gritty work in front of the net. Weiland Parrish would get credit for the goal with Cole Kirkup and CJ Corazzin drawing the assists.
The Flyers hard work paid off again later in the period and Winkler would add their third goal of the game with 1:47 left before intermission. Just moments after Brody Moffatt cleared the puck out of the Winkler zone, Brett Opperman caught up to it deep in the Neepawa zone. Swinging the puck towards the front of the net, Opperman saw his pass deflect off the skates of a Natives’ defender and into the net for his sixth goal of the year.
With a 13-1 record when taking a lead into the third, the Flyers put the game away with two more goals in the final frame. The Flyers got lucky again with another fortunate bounce leading to Cole Kirkup’s fifth of the season just 4:30 into the period. Corazzin earned his third assist of the game and Will Blake added a helper as well and the Flyers led 4-2.
Then with 15 seconds remaining in regulation, Matt Christian picked up his team leading 24th assist of the season on Weiland Parrish’s second of the game and 11th of the year into the empty Neepawa net to make the final score 5-2 for the visitors.
Troy Martyniuk was back in top form for the Flyers, earning his league best 14th win of the season. The Flyers outshot Neepawa 37-26. Winkler was 1-for-6 on the power-play and 6-for-7 on the penalty-kill.
The Flyers (18-8-0), who are two points back of first place in the MJHL standings will travel to Dauphin on Saturday night for their third meeting of the season against the Kings (5-19-2). The Flyers won the two previous meetings.
Puck drop at Credit Union Place in Dauphin 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.
GREAT CANADIAN OIL CHANGE THREE STARS
1ST STAR – F WEILAND PARRISH (WINKLER)
2ND STAR – D CJ CORAZZIN (WINKLER)
3RD STAR – F COLE KIRKUP (WINKLER)