The Winkler Flyers ended their five game winless streak with a convincing 8-1 win over the visiting Dauphin Kings on Friday night. It was a refreshing game for the Flyers, who finally found a way to turn their chances into results.
Playing Dauphin for the fourth time this season, the Flyers welcomed the Kings still looking for their first win after the Christmas break. Winkler was trying to take advantage of a Kings squad who had lost their last seven games on the road.
Near the end of a dominating first period by the Flyers, Scott Gall carried the puck towards the Kings net and scored the first goal of the game with 4:17 left on the clock. Kurt Sonne and Connor Hamonic drew the assists on Gall’s 17th goal of the year and third in his last four games. Winkler took their 1-0 lead into the break while outshooting the Kings 19-7 through 20 minutes.
The Flyers doubled their lead just over two minutes into the second period when Scott Gall assisted on Thomas Mansbridge’s 11th of the campaign to push Winkler ahead 2-0. Dauphin cut Winkler’s lead in half with 9:40 remaining in the period when Trevor Kavanaugh scored on the power-play.
Winkler got that one back just 48 seconds later when Cam Whyte fed the puck to Zak Hicks who tipped in his first of the game. Tristan Keck also assisted on Hicks’ 12th of the year. With 2:31 left in the second, Hicks picked the top corner on the power-play for his second of the game and the Flyers lead had grown to 4-1. Cam Whyte and Tristan Keck once again drew the assists.
Just 20 seconds after that, Flyers’ forward Jason Cohan lowered his shoulder and drove towards the front of the Dauphin net and jammed in his second as a Flyer to give Winkler a four goal lead. Outshooting the Kings 29-17 through 40 minutes, Winkler carried their 5-1 lead into the third.
Cohan scored again eight minutes into the third with Nolan McGuire and Lawson McDonald picking up the assists and the Flyers led 6-1. With 8:05 left in regulation, Cam Whyte redirected Tristan Keck’s pass into the back of the net for his team leading 27th of the year for the Flyers’ seventh goal of the game.
With less than three minutes to go, Mitch Dyck and Nathan Karlowsky muscled the puck out of the defensive zone and onto the stick of Tristan Keck, who raced down the ice and picked the far corner to make the score 8-1 for Winkler. It was Keck’s 25th of the year and fourth in five games. It was also Keck’s fourth point of the night.
Lost in all the offense was the play of Connor Slipp, who was solid in goal for Winkler making 29 saves, improving his record to 14-3. The Flyers outshot Dauphin 40-30 overall. Both teams were 1-for-3 on the power-play. It was the 16th time in the Flyers’ 27 wins where they defeated their opponent by at least three goals.
Seven different Flyers’ had multi-point games, led by Keck’s four points (1 goal – 3 assists). Cam Whyte had three points (1 goal – 2 assists), while Scott Gall (1 goal – 1 assist), Nolan McGuire (2 assists), Jason Cohan (2 goals), Zak Hicks (2 goals), and Thomas Mansbridge (1 goal – 1 assist) all had two points.
The third place Flyers (27-10-3) will host the fourth place Virden Oil Capitals (25-15-0) in their next game on Saturday, January 16th. Winkler is 1-1 against Virden this season and are currently seven points ahead of the Oil Caps for third spot in the MJHL Standings. Virden is coming off a loss in Steinbach on Friday night and has lost their last two games.
Puck drop at the Winkler Recreation Complex is 7:30pm. Advance tickets can be purchased at the Winkler Coop Gas Bar.
GREAT CANADIAN OIL CHANGE THREE STARS
1st Star – F Tristan Keck (Winkler)
2nd Star – D Zak Hicks (Winkler)
3rd Star – F Jason Cohan (Winkler)