The Winkler Flyers kicked off the regular season with a 4-2 win over the visiting Steinbach Pistons on Friday night. Tristan Keck led the way with a goal and an assist as the Orange and Black began the 2014-2015 season schedule.
After an impressive 7-1 preseason, the Flyers hit the ice for real on Friday night looking to continue their success into the regular season. A large crowd of over 1000 fans were on hand, and they were not disappointed.
Former CJHL Rookie of the Year, Tristan Keck, who is entering his third season with the Flyers scored the games first goal with 4:57 remaining in the opening period. Zak Hicks drew the lone assist on Keck’s breakaway goal. However, Tyler Penner would tie the game just 43 seconds later with a short-handed goal for Steinbach.
Winkler would take the lead back before the end of the period when Jeff Michiels and Zach Heisinger assisted on Winkler native Nolan McGuire’s first career MJHL goal, putting the Flyers back in front 2-1 with just over a minute left in the first.
Pistons forward Cole McCartan drew Steinbach even for a second time with 3:56 to play in the second period, and the two rivals headed into the third period tied 2-2.
The Flyers would take the lead back with a power-play goal, 3:46 into the final period thanks to pair of newcomers. Cam Whyte was able to finish off a pretty pass from Patrice Wren and give the Flyers a 3-2 lead. Rosenfeld native Brett Klassen picked up the second assist.
Forward Shawn Pachet then gave the Flyers some insurance with his first goal of the season with just under three minutes to play, increasing Winkler’s lead to 4-2. Tristan Keck and Josh Cook drew the assists.
Adam Vander Linden made 23 saves in the win as the Flyers out-shot the Pistons 31-25 overall. Winkler went 1-for-3 on the power-play and a perfect 3-for-3 on the penalty-kill.
The two teams will meet again on Saturday night in Steinbach for the Pistons home opener. Puck drop at the TG Smith Centre is 7:30pm. You can catch the game live on Country 88 and online at www.pembinavalleyonline.com with Matt Friesen’s pregame show at 7:25pm.