Despite an unbelievable effort on the road, the Winkler Flyers lost 3-1 to the OCN Blizzard in Game Three of their best of seven Semi-Final series. Ian Mackey scored the lone goal for the Flyers who deserved a better fate for the third straight game.
Playing their first game on the road in the series, the Flyers were looking to cut OCN’s lead in the series to 2-1. After dropping the first two games at home, despite playing more than good enough to win both games, the Flyers needed to find a way to solve Blizzard netminder Brett Epp. The OCN goaltender had frustrated Winkler shooters in the first two games and was instrumental in the Blizzard taking the first two games on the road.
The first period belonged to Winkler, but for the third time in the series it was the Blizzard who scored first. Taking advantage of a fortunate bounce in front of the net, Daylon Campbell gave OCN a 1-0 lead with 7:37 left in the opening period.
Winkler carried the play in the second period as well and with 8:55 gone in the period, Ian Mackey banged in a loose puck in front of the net to tie the game 1-1. Matt Christian and Coltyn Bates assisted on Mackey’s third of the postseason.
Outshooting OCN 26-18 through 40 minutes, the Flyers were looking to catch a break in the third and get back into the series. Just past the four minute mark of the final period OCN regained the lead. After a sensational stop by goaltender Troy Martyniuk, the puck made its way to Tristan Elie who scored OCN’s second goal of the game.
OCN goaltender Brett Epp was the story of the game again, stopping at least three breakaways in the final period to keep his team in the lead. With the Flyers on the attack again late in regulation, the Blizzard added an empty net goal in the dying seconds to secure the 3-1 victory and the 3-0 lead in the series.
The Flyers outshot OCN 33-26 overall. Both teams were 0-for-3 on the power-play.
The Flyers will look to keep their season alive on Thursday night in Game Four, trailing the best of seven Semi-Final series 3-0. Puck drop at the Gordon Lathlin Memorial Centre is 7pm with Matt Friesen’s pregame show live on Country 88.9FM and online at www.pembinavalleyonline.com getting underway at 6:55pm.
GREAT CANADIAN OIL CHANGE THREE STARS
1ST STAR – G BRETT EPP (OCN)
2ND STAR – D LAWSON McDONALD (WINKLER)
3RD STAR – F IAN MACKEY (WINKLER)