The Winkler Flyers scored three unanswered goals in the third period in a come from behind 4-2 victory in Dauphin on Friday night. Kings’ goaltender Brandon Holtby nearly stole the show as the score was a lot closer than it could have been with Winkler outshooting their opponent 41-14.
After a busy roster deadline day where the club added three new players and said goodbye to four former teammates, the Flyers made the trip up to Dauphin to begin a three game weekend road trip. In three previous games against the Kings this year, the Flyers had three wins, two of those wins coming at Credit Union Place in Dauphin.
After a scoreless first period, where the Flyers outshot the Kings 17-5, the Kings opened the scoring just over eight minutes into the second period after capitalizing on a Winkler turnover at the blue line. The Flyers tied the game at the 12:05 mark of the second when newcomer Tanner Lewis picked up the pass from Braden Billaney and went upstairs for his first goal as a Flyer. Mitch Dyck increased his point streak to three games with an assist on the goal.
However, Dauphin would regain the lead from 26 seconds later on controversial goal from the corner. Winkler had their chances to even up the score before intermission but Holtby continued to frustrate the Flyers’ shooters. The Kings took their one goal lead into the third while being outshot 27-13 through 40 minutes.
Down 2-1 entering the final period, the Flyers were looking for just their second third period comeback all season and it started early with a goal just over three minutes into the period. With steady pressure on the Kings net, Gino Lucia and Will Blake both saw their chances stopped by Holtby before defenseman Lawson McDonald crept in from the point and scored his 5th of the year to tie the game 2-2.
Winkler would then take the lead for the first time, 6:28 into the period when Matt Christian buried a rebound for his 10th goal of the year. Coltyn Bates and Ian Mackey assisted on Christian’s seventh point in a span of seven games.
Now playing with a lead, the Flyers snuffed out any hope of a home town comeback by allowing the Kings just one shot on goal in the final period. Winkler would add some insurance with just over a minute left in the game when Braden Billaney picked up his second assist of the game and seventh point in his last five games on Scott Gall’s empty net goal to make the final 4-2 for Winkler. It was Gall’s team leading 17th goal of the season.
Cole Weaver was good when called upon making just 12 saves while picking up his 14th win of the season. The Flyers outshot the Kings 41-14 overall. Both teams were 0-for-1 on the power-play. The win snaps the Flyers two game road losing streak and makes them 9-6 on the road overall this year.
The third place Flyers (20-9-0) will continue their road trip in Waywayseecappo (3-22-2) on Saturday night in their second game of the season against the Wolverines. The Flyers beat the visiting Wolverines 7-2 this past Saturday in Winkler. You can catch the game live on Country 88.9FM and online at www.pembinavalleyonline.com with Matt Friesen’s pregame show getting underway at 7:25pm.
NOTE: F Tanner Lewis and D Nathan Peabody made their Flyers’ debuts on Friday night and played very well. G Troy Martyniuk backed up Weaver in Dauphin and is expected to get a start this weekend.
GREAT CANADIAN OIL CHANGE THREE STARS
1ST STAR – F BRADEN BILLANEY (WINKLER)
2ND STAR – F TANNER LEWIS (WINKLER)
3RD STAR – G BRANDON HOLTBY (DAUPHIN)