The Winkler Flyers third period comeback fell just short in a 4-3 loss to the first place Pistons in Steinbach on Monday afternoon. Trailing 3-0 after 40 minutes, the Flyers made a game of it at the end but were forced to settle for their third straight loss.
Playing their third road game in four days, the Orange and Black were back on the bus to play their final away game of the regular season. With Captain Nolan McGuire and forward Jacob Lacasse still unavailable due to injury, the Flyers put out a gritty effort on the road and kept the game scoreless after 20 minutes.
The Pistons got the breaks in the second and opened the scoring just before the halfway mark of the period. After Lucas Barker’s shot deflected off a leg inside the Pistons’ zone, the puck made its way to Steinbach forward Will Koop who had just come onto the ice. He then went in to beat Winkler starter Aaron Brunn on a breakaway and the Pistons had a 1-0 lead.
Just over three minutes later, Drew Worrad doubled Steinbach’s lead to 2-0 and two minutes after that, Brad Schoonbaert scored a power-play goal to extend Steinbach’s lead to 3-0. All the while Winkler continued to battle but trailed by three goals after 40 minutes.
The Flyers finally got a bounce in the third as Cole Kirkup intercepted a pass near the Winkler blueline and went in to score his 9th of the year on a breakaway to cut the Pistons’ lead to 3-1 with 6:21 gone in the period. Then with 8:42 left on the clock, CJ Corazzin’s shot from the point found the top corner of the net to pull Winkler to within one. Will Blake assisted on Corazzin’s fifth of the season.
Unfortunately for Winkler, the Pistons jumped on a rebound just over a minute later and restored their two goal cushion. That goal would prove to be a big one for Steinbach as Mitch Dyck would blast in Winkler’s second power-play goal with 4:02 left in regulation to make it a 4-3 game. Matt Christian and Coltyn Bates drew the assists on Dyck’s 7th of the year.
Despite a late game push by the Flyers, the equalizer would not come and Winkler would be forced to settle for the second 4-3 loss in a row. Aaron Brunn played well in goal for Winkler as the Pistons outshot the Flyers 35-21. Winkler went 2-for-7 on the power-play and 3-for-4 on the penalty-kill.
The Flyers will now return home to begin a regular season ending four game homestand which will begin Wednesday night against the Neepawa Natives. Game time at the Winkler Arena is 7:30pm with advance tickets available at the Winkler Coop Gas Bar, Petro Canada Gas Bar or at the door prior to the game. You can also video stream the game live on www.hockeytv.com
NOTE: Winkler Flyers forward Coltyn Bates was named the Runner-Up for the Manitoba Junior Hockey League Player of the Week Award. The third year Flyer is second in team scoring and has recorded 14 points in his last eight games.
GREAT CANADIAN OIL CHANGE THREE STARS
1ST STAR – F DREW WORRAD (STEINBACH)
2ND STAR – D MITCH DYCK (WINKLER)
3RD STAR – F WILL KOOP (WINKLER)