The Orange and Black scored three unanswered goals, including two in the third period to earn themselves a 4-3, come from behind victory in Virden on Wednesday night. Jayden McCarthy scored the game winner with just under four minutes left in regulation to help the Flyers pick up their third straight preseason win.
Playing the Oil Capitals for the second time already this preseason, the Flyers were looking to build off of their back to back wins over the Thief River Falls Norskies (SIJHL) on the weekend. Winkler kicked off their exhibition campaign against the Oil Capitals in Winkler on September 4th, which resulted in a lopsided victory for the visitors.
The Flyers had good jump in the opening frame, but found themselves down 1-0 through 20 minutes of play despite outshooting their opponents 14-11. Winkler pulled even just past the two minute mark of the second, when newcomer Bryce Krauter scored his second of the preseason to tie the game 1-1. The next two goals would belong to Virden as they regained their lead on the power-play and then scored again with 5:23 left in the middle frame to take a 3-1 lead.
The turning point for the Flyers came in the final minute of the period as third year forward Griffin Leonard took the pass up near the Virden blueline, skated in to the Oil Caps’ zone and snapped a shot over the shoulder of Riley Wallace to pull the Flyers to within a goal after two periods.
Winkler goaltender Dorrin Luding would keep his team in front the rest of the way and would be rewarded for it as the Orange and Black took over in the third. Just before the final period was seven minutes old, rookie forward Alex Cattani spotted second year defenseman Drake Burgin up near the blueline on the power-play. Burgin sent a shot towards the net that snuck through the crowd and in to tie the game 3-3. It was Cattani’s second assist of the game.
Then with 3:51 left on the clock, Jayden McCarthy’s hard forecheck resulted in a turnover that led to his second of the exhibition campaign to move Winkler in front for the first time in the game. The 4-3 score would hold up and the Flyers had increased their preseason record to 3-1.
Dorrin Luding played the full 60 minutes between the pipes for Winkler and was strong making 34 saves. Both teams finished the night with 37 shots, and both were 1-for-2 on the power-play.
The Flyers will look to make the finishing touches on their opening night roster when they play the Steinbach Pistons in a home and home this Friday and Saturday to conclude their six game preseason schedule. Puck drop Friday night in Winkler is 7:30pm with Saturday’s game taking place at the TG Smith Centre in Steinbach. Both games can be live streamed on www.hockeytv.com