The Winkler Flyers capped off their three game road trip with a gritty 3-2 victory over the Oil Capitals at Tundra Oil and Gas Place in Virden. Dionne Demke scored the game winner in the third period to help the Orange and Black earn their 10th win of the 2015-2016 season.
After defeating the Swan Valley Stampeders in a shootout on Friday night, the Flyers made their way to the place where their 2014-2015 season came to an end in game six of the MJHL Quarterfinals.
Virden took the early jump on the Flyers when Mack Hardy tipped a shot between the legs of goaltender Connor Slipp just 1:25 into the game. Despite trailing early on, the Flyers carried the play in the opening period. Winkler tied the game with 6:30 remaining in the first, when Thomas Mansbridge fed the puck into the middle of the ice to Nolan McGuire who scored his first of the season on the power-play, tying the game 1-1.
The Oil Caps responded quickly though, and took the lead back just 1:29 later. Winkler outshot Virdeo 10-5 in the period, but trailed 2-1 heading into the second frame.
Winkler continued to push the pace in the second and were rewarded with another tying goal on the power-play. With 2:36 to play in the period, Jordan Wall slid the puck to Tristan Keck at the top of the right circle and the Flyers’ leading scorer connected perfectly, sending his one-timer over the shoulder of Virden goaltender Sean Kuehn. Connor Hamonic also assisted on Keck’s 5th of the season.
The Flyers would finally take the lead 7:06 into the third. After Jeff Michiels won the faceoff in the offensive zone, rookie forward Dionne Demke snapped in his first ever Manitoba Junior Hockey League goal, pushing Winkler in front by a score of 3-2.
For the final 13 minutes, the Flyers protected their one goal lead thanks to the solid goaltending of Connor Slip and the relentless defending from players like Nathan Karlowsky and Tyler Lindstrom.
Connor Slipp improved to 2-0 as a member of the Flyers, making 17 saves on the 19 shots he faced. The Flyers outshot Virden 23-19 overall. Winkler went 2-for-3 on the power-play and 3-for-3 on the penalty-kill.
The Flyers (10-3-1), who went 2-1 on their weekend road trip will return home for a pair of games this coming weekend. Winkler will host Waywayseecappo on Friday, October 30th and Neepawa on Saturday, October 31st. Both games get underway at 7:30pm at the Winkler Recreation Complex.
Great Canadian Oil Change Three Stars
1st Star – F Dionne Demke – Winkler
2nd Star – G Sean Kuehn – Virden
3rd Star – D Nathan Karlowsky – Winkler
Winkler Canvas Hardest Worker
D Tyler Lindstrom – Winkler