The Winkler Flyers picked up their seventh consecutive win with a hard fought 2-1 victory, Friday night in OCN moving them into sole possession of first place in the MJHL standings. Troy Martyniuk had a fantastic game in goal for the Flyers, stopping 39 of the 40 shots he faced while earning his league best 10th win of the season.
After completing a perfect three game home stand, and winners of their last six games overall, the Orange and Black made the trip to OCN for a showdown between two of the top teams in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League. Entering play on Friday, the Flyers and Blizzard were tied with the Steinbach Pistons with a league best 26 points.
With an eight hour bus trip behind them, the Flyers came out strong in the opening few minutes but failed to pull the trigger. The Blizzard pushed back midway through the first and took a 1-0 lead on a goal by Brody Dale with 8:02 to play before the break.
Winkler tied the game up before intermission when Nolan McGuire picked up the rebound from Mitch Dyck’s point shot and back handed home his team leading 15th goal of the season. With the shots 15-9 for Winkler, the two teams skated into the first intermission tied 1-1.
The score remained unchanged after the second, thanks in large part to the play of both Troy Martyniuk and Blizzard goalie Emilien Boily. OCN outshot Winkler 16-9 in the middle frame, and with the game still tied after 40 minutes, the winner would be decided in the third.
The emotions and physical play picked up in the final 20 minutes and Winkler would take their first lead of the game just over a minute and a half into the period. Just moments after a Winkler power-play had expired, defenseman Mitch Dyck chased down a loose puck in the OCN zone and spotted a hard charging Weiland Parrish who scored his eighth of the season to put Winkler in front 2-1. It was Parrish’s fourth straight game with a goal and fifth straight game with a point. Dyck’s second point of the night highlighted another solid game for the Winkler native who logged nearly 35 quality minutes in the game.
The rest of the period belonged to Winkler goaltender Troy Martyniuk. After being named the MJHL’s Top Goaltender for the month of October on Thursday, Martyniuk made a number of highlight reel saves during five OCN power-plays in the third period alone and Winkler would hang on for their 14th victory of the season.
Winkler would finish the game 0-for-6 on the power-play and 8-for-8 on the penalty-kill. The Flyers have now won seven games in a row for the second time this season. Friday night’s win is also Winkler’s 14th victory in their last 15 games.
The Flyers (14-3) and Blizzard (12-5-2) will go at it again on Saturday night, 7pm at the Gordon Lathlin Memorial Centre in OCN. You can catch the game live on Country 88.9FM and online at www.pembinavalleyonline.com with Matt Friesen’s pregame show at 6:55pm.
GREAT CANADIAN OIL CHANGE THREE STARS
1ST STAR – G TROY MARTYNIUK (WINKLER)
2ND STAR – D MITCH DYCK (WINKLER)
3RD STAR – F NOLAN McGUIRE (WINKLER)