The Winkler Flyers earned a single point in a wild 8-7 shootout loss to the visiting Virden Oil Capitals on Sunday night. The Flyers fought back from multi goal deficits on two separate occasions to increase their point streak to six straight games.
A night after beating the Neepawa Natives at home to earn their fifth win in a row, the Flyers were back at it again on Sunday trying to finish off their three game homestand on the right note. The Flyers and Oil Caps first meeting of the season was exactly one week ago in Virden, when the Flyers capped off their three game weekend road trip with a 4-3 win.
The visitors got the upper hand in the first period, scoring twice and taking their 2-0 lead into the first intermission. Things continued to bounce Virden’s way in the first half of the second period as the Flyers found themselves trailing 4-0 before the period was nine minutes old.
The Flyers finally got something to go their way with 7:37 to play in the second, as Trent Sambrook’s shot from the point snuck through the legs of Oil Caps’ netminder Riley Wallace to cut Virden’s lead to 4-1. That is exactly the spark Winkler was looking for as the goals came fast and furious after that. Just 35 seconds later, Ian Tookenay’s shot from the slot found its way in to make it 4-2 for Virden. Not even four minutes later, Tookenay flew into the offensive zone and snapped a back hand shot top corner to make it a one goal game. After scoring in his Flyers’ debut the night before, the Fort Francis, Ontario product had made it a 4-3 game with his third goal in his fifth period with his new team. Then just 20 seconds later, Tookenay added an assist on Jaden Townsend’s fifth of the year and the game was all of a sudden tied 4-4 heading into the third. All four Winkler goals came in a span of four minutes and 20 seconds.
Winkler did not start the third period well as they allowed Virden to regain the lead in the opening minute. The Oil Capitals then scored twice more in the minutes to follow and the Flyers were down 7-4 with just over 15 minutes left in regulation.
That’s when the second Winkler comeback began. With 6:24 gone in the period, Bryce Krauter’s shot on the power-play flipped off the shoulder of Riley Wallace and slid over the line to make it a 7-5 game. The Flyers scored again with 8:25 left on the clock as Drake Burgin spotted Jaden Townsend in front of the net and the Flyers’ Assistant Captain potted his second of the night to cut Virden’s lead to 7-6. With Dorrin Luding on the bench and the extra attacker on the ice, the Flyers would tie the game up with 55 seconds remaining as Townsend redirected Nathan Poolman’s point shot into the net for his third goal of the night.
Despite struggling in the defensive zone for much of the evening, the Flyers got the game to overtime and eventually a shootout still tied 7-7. The shootout when five rounds deep with Justin Svenson being the only Flyer to find the back of the net.
Dorrin Luding made 18 saves in the game as the Flyers outshot the Oil Caps 43-25 overall. Winkler went 1-for-8 on the power-play and 0-for-2 on the penalty-kill.
The Flyers (9-5-1) will hit the road for their next six games while the Canadian U18 Woman’s Hockey Championship takes over the Winkler Rec Complex. The Flyers, who are 6-1 away from home this season will travel to Neepawa on Sunday, November 3rd for their third meeting of the year against the Natives. Puck drop at the Yellowhead Centre is 6:30pm with Matt Friesen’s pregame show live on Country 88 and online at www.pembinavalleyonline.com getting underway at 6:25pm.