Defenseman CJ Corazzin scored the game winner with 27 seconds left in regulation as the Winkler Flyers beat the Dauphin Kings 3-2 on Saturday night. Trailing 2-0 after the first two periods, the Flyers roared back in the final period to earn a much needed two points.
Beginning an important weekend on the road, the Flyers were looking to rebound after starting 2018 with a tough loss in Virden on Wednesday night. The effort was there for Winkler in Dauphin, but the results just wouldn't come in the first two periods.
The Kings took a 1-0 lead late in the first when Kyle Oleksiuk beat goaltender Troy Martyniuk with a point blank wrist shot for the game's first goal. Winkler found themselves in some penalty trouble in the second and the Kings started to generate some momentum. With just under seven minutes left before intermission, Jacob Evans' shot from the point sailed past a screen in front and the Kings had doubled their lead to 2-0.
With the shots 23-19 in favor of the Flyers, Winkler entered the final period trailing by two. With just one third period comeback all season long, and just three such comebacks in the last two seasons, the Flyers would find the rare late game magic in Dauphin.
Early in the period, Nolan McGuire sent a booming slap shot into the back of the net for his team leading 24th goal of the year. Mitch Dyck and Will Blake assisted on the power-play goal. Then with 8:22 left in the third, Coltyn Bates and Weiland Parrish assisted on Brady Pupp's fifth of the year, tying the game 2-2.
Down at the other end of the ice, Troy Martyniuk was keeping his team in the game with a number of highlight reel saves in the third period.
Late in regulation, the Flyers found their groove and took full control with a number of impressive shifts in the Dauphin zone. After an offensive zone faceoff win, Bates moved the puck deep in the zone to McGuire who circled it back around to the top of the right faceoff circle. There, he snapped a hard pass to the left slot to defenseman CJ Corazzin who shoveled home his third of the season to give the Flyers their first lead of the game with just 27 seconds left on the clock.
Martyniuk finished the night with 33 saves as the Flyers outshot Dauphin 46-35 overall, 23-16 in the third period alone. The Flyers were 1-for-2 on the power-play and 4-for-4 on the penalty-kill. Despite winning just three of their last eight games overall, the Flyers have now won seven of their last nine road games.
The win improves the Flyers record to 24-13-0 as they prepare for a Sunday afternoon game in Waywayseecappo (4pm). You can catch the game live on Country 88.9FM and online at www.pembinavalleyonline.com with Matt Friesen's pregame show at 3:55pm.
GREAT CANADIAN OIL CHANGE THREE STARS
1ST STAR - G TROY MARTYNIUK (WINKLER)
2ND STAR - F NOLAN McGUIRE (WINKLER)
3RD STAR - F COLTYN BATES (WINKLER)