The Winkler Flyers were forced to settle for a weekend split in Swan River as the Orange and Black dropped a 6-1 decision to the Swan Valley Stampeders on Saturday night. After beating the Stamps the night before, the Flyers came up short in containing one of the top offensive clubs in the MJHL for the second straight night.
Coming off a 3-1 win over the Stampeders on Friday, in a game where their power-play clicked and the defense was strong, the Flyers had a good start to the game on Saturday and it looked as though the bounces would go their way again early on.
The Flyers carried the play for the most part in the first period and opened the scoring just before the midway point with their fourth power-play goal of the weekend. After retrieving the puck in his own zone, defenseman Erik Dahl sent it ahead to Jayden McCarthy. With three goals scored against Swan Valley already this season, McCarthy skated the puck into the Stampeders’ zone, deked around a defenseman and wired a shot over the shoulder of goaltender Merek Pipes for his 10th of the season.
Unfortunately for Winkler, that is where their offensive production would end. The Stampeders tied the game late in the period and the two teams skated into the first intermission tied 1-1.
Swan Valley took control of the game in the middle period, scoring three times to take a 4-1 lead. The Flyers, who held Swan Valley’s top players off the scoresheet on Friday night, were not able to replicate that on Saturday.
The Stampeders tacked on two more in the third which would spell the end of the night for Winkler starter Britt League. Riley Morgan played the second half of the third period and kept the score 6-1 for the home side.
League finished the night with 26 saves on 32 shots, while Morgan stopped both shots he faced as the Flyers outshot the Stampeders 38-34. Winkler went 1-for-6 on the power-play and 2-for-3 on the penalty-kill.
The Flyers and the rest of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League will now break for the next week for the MJHL/SJHL Showcase which will take place in Regina, Saskatchewan. Griffin Leonard, Eric Fawkes and Drake Burgin will represent the Flyers at the showcase.
The Flyers, who have won five of their last seven games will return to action on Saturday, January 19th in Neepawa. You can catch the game live on Country 88 and online at www.pembinavalleyonline.com with Matt Friesen’s pregame show at 7:25pm. You can also watch it live on www.hockeytv.com.