Garrett Kuklica scored Winkler’s lone goal as the Orange and Black fell 5-1 to the MJHL leading Portage Terriers in their final home game of the 2018-2019 season. It was a hard fought game by the Orange and Black but the league’s best offense was too much for the Flyers in their fifth of six meetings against the Terriers.
Just two days removed from a 7-2 win in Neepawa, the Flyers returned home for the final time this season after being eliminated from playoff contention over the weekend.
It was an even first period which saw the Terriers open the scoring with a short-handed goal just before the nine minute mark of the period. Portage added another goal later in the period and took their 2-0 lead into the break with the shots even at seven a piece.
The second period started with a pair of Portage goals to extend the visitors lead to 4-0. Winkler’s only goal came midway through the middle frame when Garrett Kuklica sent a shot past Portage goaltender Nathan Moore to cut the Terriers’ lead to 4-1. Jesse Korytko and Connor Beebe assisted on Kuklica’s third goal of the season.
The Flyers had good push in the third period but another goal by the Terriers, this time on the power-play put the game out of reach.
The game had an unfortunate end as rookie defenseman Drake Burgin was helped off the ice in the final few minutes after being the victim of a dangerous checking from behind penalty.
Riley Morgan took the loss in goal for Winkler, turning aside 22 of the 27 shots he faced. The Terriers outshot the Flyers 27-19 overall. Winkler went 0-for-5 on the power-play and 2-for-3 on the penalty-kill.
The Flyers will take on the Steelers in Selkirk on Tuesday night in their second last game of the season. Puck drop at the Selkirk Recreation Complex is 7:30pm with Matt Friesen’s pregame show on Country 88 and online at www.pembinavalleyonline.com getting underway at 7:25pm.