The Winkler Flyers dropped a 7-2 decision to the visiting Steinbach Pistons on Tuesday night, setting up a winner take all Game Seven in their MJHL Semi-Final series. After taking an early lead, the Flyers allowed five unanswered goals as they failed to eliminate the Pistons for the second straight game.
Coming back home for Game Six, the Flyers were in search of the series clinching win in front of another large crowd at the Winkler Rec Complex. After failing to win the series in Game Five in Steinbach, the Orange and Black were hoping to get the job done at home, where they had not lost a game yet in the post-season.
Just before the five minute mark of the opening period, Jordan Wall stepped into a shot and gave Winkler a 1-0 lead. Connor Hamonic and Coltyn Bates assisted on Wall’s first of the playoffs.
Instead of the Flyers gaining momentum by scoring the opening goal of the game for the sixth straight time in the series, the Pistons would hit the scoreboard next. With 8:02 gone in the period, Quinton Lisoway scored to tie the game 1-1. Just three minutes and 10 seconds later, Anthony Kapelke fired a shot off the inside of the post and in to give Steinbach a 2-1 lead. The Pistons took their one goal lead into the first intermission while outshooting the Flyers 17-8.
Steinbach captain Tyler Penner scored the only goal of the second period and the Flyers trailed by two goals entering the third.
Needing a strong third period to finish off the series at home, the Flyers stumbled early in the third. Steinbach scored just 20 seconds into the period and again just 53 seconds later and the Flyers found themselves down 5-1.
Winkler got one back 6:06 into the third thanks to Scott Gall’s first of the series and third of the playoffs. Thomas Mansbridge picked up the lone assist as the Pistons lead was cut to 5-2.
That would be as close as the Flyers would get, as the Pistons would score a power-play goal with seven minutes left and add another one with two minutes left to take Game Six by a score of 7-2.
The Pistons outshot the Flyers 41-33 in the game. Winkler went 0-for-5 on the power-play and 2-for-3 on the penalty-kill.
The series will now shift back to the TG Smith Centre in Steinbach for a winner take all Game Seven on Wednesday night. After failing to win the series during the last two games, the Flyers will be hoping that the third time is the charm on Wednesday night. The winner of this series will face the Portage Terriers in Game One of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League Final on Friday, April 8th at the PCU Centre in Portage.
Puck drop at the TG Smith Centre in Steinbach in 7:30pm on Wednesday with Matt Friesen’s pregame show on County 88 and online at www.pembinavalleyonline.com getting underway at 7:25pm. The Flyers are 1-2 in Steinbach during the playoffs and were 2-1 in Steinbach during the regular season.
Great Canadian Oil Change Three Stars
1st Star – F Tyler Penner (Steinbach)
2nd Star – F Mackenzie Graham (Steinbach)
3rd Star – D Jordan Wall (Winkler)
Winkler Canvas Hardest Working Flyer
F Coltyn Bates