Jayden McCarthy recorded a goal and an assist in the Winkler Flyers 9-2 loss to the visiting Virden Oil Capitals on Wednesday night, kicking off their 2019-2020 MJHL preseason schedule. Newcomer Tanner Barbeau had the other Winkler goal as the Orange and Black played the first of their six game exhibition season.


With a good crop of younger players in the lineup, the Flyers welcomed the Oil Caps to the Winkler Recreation Complex for their first game against someone other than themselves. It was the Flyers who got on the board first as 20 year old forward Tanner Barbeau cashed in a loose puck just over seven minutes into the game. Foster Martin and Jayden McCarthy drew the assists.


Unfortunately for the Flyers, the Oil Caps got that one right back and tacked on two more before the end of the first. Virden scored four more times in the second and despite a good effort by the Flyers, they found themselves down 7-1 after 40 minutes.


Midway through the final frame, Winkler scored on the power-play to cut Virden’s lead to 7-2. Rookie defenseman Trent Sambrook, the nephew of Flyers’ Hall of Famer Wade Sambrook fed the puck to Jayden McCarthy who snapped a shot under the cross bar for the Flyers’ second goal. Virden added two more goals before the end and handed the Flyers a 9-2 defeat in their exhibition opener.


Nate Bradbury got the start between the pipes for the Flyers and had 11 saves on the 16 shots that he faced through a period and a half. Morden native Dylan Meilun played the second half of the game for Winkler and stopped 15 of the 19 shots that came his way. Virden outshot Winkler 35-24 overall. Winkler was 1-for-3 on the power-play and 4-for-6 on the penalty-kill.


The Flyers next preseason action is Friday night when they host the SIJHL’s Thief River Falls Norskies. Puck drop at the Winkler Recreation Complex is 7:30pm. Admission is $5. You can also live stream the game with a subscription to www.hockeytv.com