The Winkler Flyers dropped a 4-2 decision to the visiting Steinbach Pistons on Friday night in their final game of the regular season. The sold out crowd at the Winkler Rec Complex was treated to a very entertaining game that saw the Pistons come through late in regulation to get the victory.
With both the Flyers and Pistons playing their 60th and final game of the 2017-2018 regular season, and both teams riding three game winning streaks, the game had a good level of intensity to it with the playoffs just around the corner.
The Pistons drew first blood when Austin Heidemann cashed in a rebound on the power-play and Steinbach had a 1-0 lead with 8:05 left in the opening period. The Flyers fell behind 2-0 just before the four minute mark of the second when Brady Tatro scored an even strength goal during a penalty filled middle frame.
Winkler rallied in the third and with 5:40 gone in the period, Mitch Dyck extended his point streak to six games when his power-play point shot found the back of the net cutting Steinbach’s lead to 2-1. Brody Moffatt picked up the assist on Dyck’s eighth goal of the season.
Then with 8:04 left in regulation, Everett Besland tipped in a centering pass from Lucas Barker and the Flyers had tied the game 2-2. Trent Halfdanson also assisted on the Brunkild native’s second of the year.
However, the Pistons went back on the power-play late in the period and Austin Heidemann scored his second power-play goal of the game with 4:05 left on the clock to move the Pistons back in front 3-2. With the Flyers pushing for the late game equalizer, the Pistons sealed the game with an empty net goal in the final seconds to win the game 4-2.
Troy Martyniuk was in fine form in goal for Winkler stopping 36 of the 39 shots he faced as the Pistons outshot the Flyers 40-25. Winkler went 1-for-7 on the power-play and 5-for-7 on the penalty-kill.
The Flyers finished the regular season with a 35-25-0 record which is good for fifth place in the MJHL Standings. The Flyers will face the fourth place OCN Blizzard in the MJHL Quarterfinals which will begin next weekend in OCN. Stay tuned to www.winklerflyers.com for a full series preview.
GREAT CANADIAN OIL CHANGE THREE STARS
1ST STAR – F AUSTIN HEIDEMANN (STEINBACH)
2ND STAR – F TYSON McCONNELL (STEINBACH)
3RD STAR – F EVERETT BESTLAND (WINKLER)