The Winkler Flyers earned a single point in a 3-2 shootout loss to the visiting Swan Valley Stampeders on Friday night. Trailing in the third period, the Flyers mounted a comeback and tied the game with just under four minutes left in regulation to force extra time to pick up at least one point for the 12th time in their last 13 games.
Back at home after playing their last six games on the road, the Winkler Flyers were hoping to bring some of their success from the road to their own home ice. Despite winning 11 of their 13 games on the road this season, the Flyers had won just three of their eight games played at home.
The Flyers drew first blood against the visiting Stamps when Everett Bestland led the Flyers into the attacking zone on a 2-on-1 before picking the far side of the Swan Valley net to put Winkler in front 1-0 just over four minutes into the game. Carson Pawlenchuk (4 Games) and Drake Burgin (5 Games) both increased their point streaks with assists on Bestland’s second goal of the year.
Winkler was just moments away from taking their one goal lead into the first intermission when the Stampeders tied the game with a tip in goal from the top of the crease with just one second left in the period.
Now tied 1-1 to start the second, the Stampeders were awarded a five minute power-play when Griffin Leonard was assessed a boarding major just over a minute into the period. The Stampeders scored just over a minute into that power-play but the Flyers did well to kill off the rest. However, Swan Valley kept the pressure on throughout most of the middle frame and thanks in large part to the play of Winkler goaltender Dorrin Luding, the Flyers entered the third period down by just a goal.
The third period was the Flyers best as they went hunting for the equalizer and would outshoot the Stampeders 14-4 in the period. With 3:40 left in regulation, Mateo Albinati managed to tip Nathan Poolman’s point shot through the legs of goaltender Mikael Foucher to pull Winkler even 2-2. The goal increased Albinati’s point streak to 10 games.
The ensuing 3-on-3 overtime period was wildly entertaining with both goaltenders being the only reason the game was not ended sooner. The shootout ended when Swan Valley forward Trevor Schroder scored with the last shot of round three and the Stampeders would earn the extra point and the 3-2 victory.
Dorrin Luding took the loss despite playing a very well in goal for Winkler. The Flyers outshot the Stampeders 31-30. Winkler went 0-for-5 on the power-play and 1-for-2 on the penalty-kill. The Flyers, two are 10-1-2 in their last 13 games will host the Stampeders again on Saturday night. Puck drop at the Winkler Recreation Complex is 7:30pm. You can catch the game live on www.hockeytv.com. The Flyers are now in a second place tie with the Steinbach Pistons and Selkirk Steelers, just one point behind the first place Portage Terriers.