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FLYERS CRUISE PAST VIRDEN IN FINAL REGULAR SEASON MEETING

Thanks to a 42 save performance by goaltender Dasan Sydora, the Winkler Flyers soared past the visiting Virden Oil Capitals 5-1 on Saturday night. Brett Klassen, Zak Hicks, Jordan Wall and Tristan Keck all recorded multi-point games to help the Flyers pick up their 30th win of the season.

In a potential playoff preview, the Flyers played host to the Oil Caps for their sixth and final meeting of the regular season. The Flyers did win the most recent meeting, 3-1 in Virden on February 15th and had a (1-3-1) record overall against the Oil Caps.

The Flyers were also playing in front of family and friends with the club holding their annual Parent/Billet appreciation weekend. The added cheering section seemed to give the Flyers a boost.

Near the end of an entertaining first period, Brett Klassen gave the Flyers a 1-0 lead. With Cam Whyte in the box for tripping, Klassen carried the puck over the Virden line and beat Oil Caps goalie Sean Kuehn for the first goal of the game. Reid Burak and Jagger Thomas assisted on Klassen’s seventh of the season.

Virden tied the game just over 11 minutes into the second period, and that would be the last time a puck would get past Sydora. Just over 30 seconds later, Kayden Jarvis tapped in a rebound in front of the net to put the Flyers back on top. Zak Hicks and Jordan Wall assisted on the Winnipeg native’s 14th of the season. Winkler took their 2-1 lead into the second intermission while being outshot 24-19 by their opponents.

With a record of (23-0-4) when leading after 40 minutes, the Flyers put the game to bed in the third. Captain Patrice Wren pushed the Flyers ahead by two goals on the power-play, 2:46 into the third with Zak Hicks and Tristan Keck assisting.

The Flyers continued their hot start to the period when Tristan Keck snapped in his 42nd goal of the season over the shoulder of Kuehn for the team’s fourth goal of the game. Jordan Wall and Cam Whyte assisted on Keck’s second goal in as many games.

Lost in the Flyers offensive attack was the play of goaltender Dasan Sydora who stopped 42 of the 43 shots he faced in the game, 19 alone in the third period. Sydora was tremendous between the pipes for the Flyers, earning his 25th win of the season.

With just under five minutes left in regulation, the Oil Caps went back on the power-play and pulled their goaltender for a 6-on-4 man advantage. At the 15:04 mark of the third, Nathan Karlowsky and Zak Hicks assisted on Brett Klassen’s second short-handed goal of the game and the Flyers had all the insurance they needed, leading the game 5-1.

It was a big win for the Flyers who now move five points up on the Oil Capitals for fourth place in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League Standings with just three games left in the regular season. Virden does have two games in hand.

The Flyers went 1-for-7 on the power-play and 9-for-9 on the penalty-kill. The Flyers finished the six game season series against Virden with a (2-3-1) record.

Winkler (30-15-12) will have the rest of the week off as they get set to take on the Winnipeg Blues, Saturday, February 28th at the MTS Iceplex in Winnipeg. You can catch the game live on Country 88.9FM and online at www.pembinavalleyonline.com with Matt Friesen’s pregame show at 6:55pm.

Winkler will host the Swan Valley Stampeders on Sunday, March 1st (5:00pm) in their final regular season home game. The Winkler Auto Dealers “Skate With The Flyers” event will happen following that game.