Cam Whyte and Nico Labossiere recorded four points each as the Winkler Flyers edged the Selkirk Steelers 6-5 on Tuesday night. The win increased the Flyers preseason record to (3-2) as they now prepare for their final weekend of the MJHL Exhibition season.
With a good mix of rookies and veterans on the ice, the Orange and Black had a good start to the game. Like they had done in all but one of their previous four exhibition games, the Flyers raced out to an early lead. Just over six minutes into the game, rookie forward Nico Labossiere opened the scoring for the Flyers and just over four minutes after that, he made it 2-0. Nathan Karlowsky, Zak Hicks, Lawson McDonald and Cam Whyte drew assists on Labossiere’s pair.
Selkirk would get both of those back before the end of the period when Dallas Starodub and Ty Kraus beat Winkler starter Travis Klassen on two of the 10 shots he faced in the period.
Winkler would regain the lead early in the second, thanks to Cam Whyte’s goal just 11 seconds into the period. Karlowsky and Hicks picked up their second assists of the game. Minutes later, Labossiere and Whyte assisted on a goal by Jeff Michiels, giving the Flyers a 4-2 lead.
The Steelers managed to keep pace, cutting the Flyers lead to 4-3, 6:05 into the period. And after Thomas Mansbridge restored the Flyers two advantage later in the frame, Selkirk tacked on another one with 1:32 left on the clock to put the game into the second intermission with the Flyers leading by just a goal, despite out shooting their opponent 30-17 through 40 minutes.
Zak Hicks gave Winkler some much needed insurance at the seven minute mark of the third, giving the Flyers their third, two goal lead of the game. Again, it was Labossiere and Whyte assisting on the goal.
That goal proved to be a big one as the Steelers scored again with 8:55 left to play in regulation, cutting Winkler’s lead down to a single goal.
But that would be the last goal scored in the game as the Flyers would hang on to their 6-5 lead and skate away with the win.
Former Pembina Valley Hawks goaltender Travis Klassen made 19 saves on 24 shots as the Flyers outshot the Steelers 42-24.
Winkler will now travel to Neepawa on Friday night for a date with the Natives. The Flyers are (3-2) this preseason, while the Natives are (0-3-1). Puck drop at the Yellowhead Centre in Neepawa is 7:30pm. Winkler’s next preseason home game is the following night, Saturday, September 19th when the Natives make a return visit to Winkler. Game time is that one is also 7:30pm.