The Winkler Flyers got past the Steinbach Pistons 3-2 on Saturday night to win Game Two of their Semi-Final series. Tristan Keck recorded a goal and two assists to help the Orange and Black take a 2-0 lead in the best of seven series.
After winning Game One on the road on Thursday night, the Flyers returned home looking to keep their lead in the series. Home ice has been very kind to the Flyers, not only in the playoffs but throughout the entire season. Since the Christmas Break, Winkler has lost just three games in regulation at home.
Winkler got off to another fast start on Game Two taking a 1-0 lead just before the halfway point of the first. With 10:14 left in the period, Tristan Keck picked up the puck in the slot and snapped home his fifth of the playoffs with Kayden Jarvis and Cam Whyte drawing the assists.
The Flyers doubled their lead on the power-play just over five minutes later. After Tristan Keck’s shot hit the pad of goaltender Roman Bengert, Kayden Jarvis deposited the rebound to make the score 2-0 for the home side. Connor Hamonic also assisted on Jarvis’ second of the post-season.
Unlike Game One where the Flyers were outshot heavily by the Pistons, it was Winkler who pushed the pace in Game Two, outshooting Steinbach 17-9 in the first and taking their 2-0 lead into the second. Of the 20 goals the Flyers have scored in the playoffs, 12 of them have come in the first period.
The Pistons cut Winkler’s lead in half midway through the second and the Flyers took a 2-1 lead into the third period, while outshooting Steinbach 30-19 through 40 minutes.
Saturday’s game was a fast paced, physical and very entertaining game and the third period was the highlight. With the Pistons throwing everything they had at Nathan Warren, the Flyers would get some insurance, 6:55 into the third.
Taking the chip pass from Nico Labossiere, Tristan Keck raced down the right wing and fired another shot off the right pad of the Steinbach goaltender. Skating down the left side, Jeff Michiels took the rebound and scored his second of the playoffs to give Winkler a 3-1 lead.
The Pistons pulled their goaltender in the final minutes and cut Winkler’s lead to 3-2 with the extra attacker on the ice and just 1:07 left on the clock. But that would be as close as the Pistons would come as the Flyers would hang on for the one goal victory and the 2-0 series lead.
Nathan Warren, who earned a 44 save shutout in Game One, was great again in Game Two. He made 27 saves while increasing his playoff record to 6-1. The Flyers outshot Steinbach 40-29 overall. Winkler went 1-for-8 on the power-play and 3-for-3 on the penalty-kill.
Now leading the best of seven series two games to none, the Flyers will travel back to Steinbach for Game Three on Tuesday, March 29th. Puck drop at the TG Smith Centre is 7:30pm. The Flyers have won three of the four games played in Steinbach this season and are 12-1-1 in their last 14 road games.
You can catch the game live on Country 88.9FM and online at www.pembinavalleyonline.com with Matt Friesen’s pregame show at 7:25pm.
Great Canadian Oil Change Three Stars
1st Star – F Tristan Keck (Winkler)
2nd Star – F Kayden Jarvis (Winkler)
3rd Star – G Nathan Warren (Winkler)
Winkler Canvas Hardest Working Flyer
D Connor Hamonic