The Winkler Flyers scored three unanswered goals in the third period in a 4-2 win over the Swan Valley Stampeders in the finale of their three game weekend road trip. Playing their third game in three days, the Orange and Black finished strong, moving back into first place in the MJHL standings thanks to their third straight victory.
After starting the weekend with wins in Neepawa and Dauphin on Friday and Saturday, the Flyers ventured further north to play a Stampeders’ club that had won their last three games. Winkler drew first blood just 2:38 into the game when assistant captain Brett Opperman snuck past the Swan Valley defense and placed a shot under the glove of Stampeders goaltender Brett Evans. It was Opperman’s seventh of the season and third in his last five games and it gave Winkler a 1-0 lead.
Swan Valley pulled even just past the halfway point of the second and the game went tied into the third with Winkler outshooting the Stampeders 27-16.
Early in the third, the Stampeders took their first lead of the game, scoring their second goal just 1:59 into the period. Playing their ninth period of hockey of the weekend, it was unclear how much gas the Flyers would have left in the tank for a third period come back.
With 11:05 left in regulation, the Flyers tied the game on a sensational goal by forward Weiland Parrish. Taking the pass from defenseman Collin Caulfield in the neutral zone, Parrish made a slick move at the blue line and would then rip a back handed shot under the cross bar for his 12th goal of the year.
With an extra jump in their step, Winkler took the lead a few minutes later as Parrish and Coltyn Bates assisted on Matt Christian’s third goal in his last two games. Swan Valley pulled the goaltender in the final minute but MJHL leading scorer Nolan McGuire potted his 21st of the season into the empty Stampeders’ net with 15 seconds left to give Winkler the 4-2 win.
Troy Martyniuk played strong between the pipes, earning his league best 15th win of the season as the Flyers outshot Swan Valley 40-22. The Flyers improved their record to 20-8-0, which is good for first place in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League standings. Winkler’s next game is Friday, December 1st in Selkirk. You can catch the game live on Country 88.9FM and online at www.pembinavalleyonline.com
GREAT CANADIAN OIL CHANGE THREE STARS
1ST STAR – F BRETT OPPERMAN (WINKLER)
2ND STAR – F WEILAND PARRISH (WINKLER)
3RD STAR – F MATTHEW OSADICK (SWAN VALLEY)