The Winkler Flyers doubled up the visiting Winnipeg Blues 6-3 on Saturday night in their final game before the MJHL Christmas break. The Flyers scored three of their six goals on the power-play en route to their 26th win of the season.
Coming off their most impressive game of the season, a 6-1 win over the first place Portage Terriers on Tuesday, the Winkler Flyers welcomed the Winnipeg Blues for the final game for both clubs before the 12 day Christmas break. This was the fourth meeting of the season between the two clubs, with Winkler winning the first three, all by one goal.
Winkler opened the scoring in this one just before the eight minute mark of the first period, thanks to Jordan Wall’s fourth goal of the season on the power-play. Kurt Sonne and Cam Whyte picked up the assists. With 1:07 remaining in the period, Cam Whyte picked the top corner from between the faceoff circles to double Winkler’s lead to 2-0. Tristan Keck assisted on Whyte 24th.
Kamerin Nault cut Winkler’s lead in half, 6:26 into the second with a power-play goal for the Blues. However, the Flyers replied with two power-play goals of their own just minutes later. Eight minutes into the period, Zak Hicks scored his 10th and just over a minute later, Thomas Mansbridge put in his 9th and the Flyers had a 4-1 lead.
Winnipeg forward Taeron Lewis scored the Blues second goal at the 11:28 mark and Winkler’s lead had shrunk to 4-2. But just 20 seconds later Coltyn Bates and Jordan Williamson assisted on Jason Cohan’s first as a Flyer, regaining Winkler’s three goal lead.
The wild second period wasn’t done yet as Cam Whyte scored the Flyers sixth goal with just over five and a half minutes left in the period. Kurt Sonne and Tyler Jubenvill each picked up their second assists of the night and the Flyers had a 6-2 lead.
Winnipeg would connect for a second time on the man advantage before the end of the period and Winkler was up 6-3 through 40 minutes. It was an action packed middle frame with seven goals scored between the two teams and a total of 34 shots on net.
The score would remain 6-3 for the home side after the third period as well and the Flyers managed to go into the break on a high note. Connor Slipp provided solid goaltending once again for the Flyers, making 34 saves, winning for the 13th time in 14 starts. The Flyers outshot Winnipeg 42-37 overall.
The Flyers went 3-for-6 on the power-play and 4-for-6 on the penalty-kill. The win improves Winkler’s record to 26-6-2, which is good for share of second place in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League Standings. The Flyers are tied with Steinbach for second spot and are seven points behind the league leading Portage Terriers. Winkler has three games in hand on the Terriers and two games in hand on the Pistons.
After the break, the Flyers will play their next five games on the road, including a New Year’s Eve matinee in Portage. Puck drop is 4:30pm at the PCU Centre in Portage la Prairie on December 31st. You can also hear the game live on Country 88.9FM and online at www.pembinvalleyonline.com with Matt Friesen’s pregame show at 4:25pm.
Great Canadian Oil Change Three Stars
1st Star – D Jordan Wall (Winkler)
2nd Star – F Cam Whyte (Winkler)
3rd Star – F Kurt Sonne (Winkler)