The Winkler Flyers forced overtime with two late goals in the third period, but it was the Winnipeg Blues who would come out on top with a 3-2 decision in the first game of the MJHL preseason. Gino Lucia led the way with a goal and an assist for Winkler and Aaron Brunn made 40 saves in the loss.
With the Flyers dressing a young group of hopefuls, the club began their six game preseason schedule. Winnipeg opened the scoring just over seven and a half minutes into the game and took that 1-0 lead into the first intermission.
The Blues doubled their lead to 2-0 with a power-play goal, 1:11 into the third. The Flyers’ young guns played their best hockey in the third period, and really started to pour it on. With 4:46 to play in regulation, Gino Lucia saw his shot rebound off the pad of the Blues’ goaltender and right onto the stick of Brendan Keck to scored Winkler’s first of the game.
Just 28 seconds later, Derek Mathez sent the puck up the wing to Lucia who found the five-hole to tie the game 2-2.
With both teams getting their first taste of the new 3-on-3 overtime, it was the Blues who would score the game winner, 3:36 into the extra frame to earn the 3-2 victory.
Morden native Aaron Brunn made 40 saves in the game as Winnipeg outshot Winkler 43-42. Winkler went 0-for-5 on the power-play and 3-for-4 on the penalty-kill.
The two teams will go at it again Wednesday night in Winnipeg in their second game of the exhibition season. Puck drop at the MTS Ice Plex is 7pm. The Flyers next preseason home game is Friday, September 9th when the Neepawa Natives come to town.
NOTES: Adult VIP ($250) and Student VIP ($150) passes are still on sale at Early Bird prices until September 23rd. All passes and ticket books are available at the Winkler Coop Gas Bar or at the Winkler Arena during preseason home games.