A bad start to the second period did the Flyers in on Friday night, as the Orange and Black dropped a 5-2 decision on the road to the Portage Terriers. Tied 2-2 after 20 minutes, the Flyers gave up two goals in the first three minutes of the middle period in the first of back to back games against the Terriers.
Entering their final weekend before heading home for the MJHL Christmas break, the Winkler Flyers made the one hour trip north to face the defending league champions. With a win and a loss against the Terriers this season, the Flyers were looking to get back into the win column after falling 5-2 to the OCN Blizzard on Tuesday.
It was Winkler who drew first blood in Portage when Trent Halfdanson took advantage of a favorable bounce beside the net, scoring his second goal of the year with 7:14 gone in the game. Everett Bestland assisted. The Winkler lead was short lived though as the Terriers’ Chase Brakel scored the first of two Portage power-play goals just over two minutes later to make the score 1-1.
However, Winkler would get a power-play of their own a few minutes later and that’s when Brady Pupp scored his fourth of the season from the blueline with Matt Christian and Weiland Parrish getting the helpers. It was the Flyers sixth power-play goal in their last three games.
Unfortunately for the Flyers, the Terriers pulled even again when Mackenzie Dwyer scored Portage’s second goal with 2:38 left in the first period.
With the game all square and the shots at eight a piece after an even opening frame, the Terriers took the lead for good early in the second. Just 97 seconds into the period, Portage leading scorer Jeremy Leipsic was sent in on a breakaway and beat Winkler netminder Aaron Brunn with a clean shot to put the home side in front for the first time in the game.
The Terriers struck again not even two minutes later with their second power-play goal and Portage had their fourth goal of the game on their 11th shot on net. The Flyers had a good push back in the third and had two power-plays to work with but were unable to beat Portage goaltender Lasse Petersen. With Brunn on the bench and the Flyers on the power-play late in regulation, the Terriers would score into the empty Winkler net to make the final 5-2.
Brunn allowed four goals on 26 shots as the Terriers outshot the Flyers 27-24. Winkler was 1-for-4 on the power-play and 0-for-2 on the penalty-kill.
The Flyers (22-12-0) will host the Portage Terriers (21-10-2) in their final game before the Christmas break on Saturday night. Puck drop at the Winkler Recreation Complex is 7:30pm with advance tickets available at the Winkler Coop Gas Bar, Petro Canada Gas Bar or at the door prior to the game. The Flyers and Terriers, along with the OCN Blizzard are all tied for second place in the MJHL Standings with 44 points. The Flyers, who have now dropped two in a row, have not lost more than two in a row at any point this season.
GREAT CANADIAN OIL CHANGE THREE STARS
1ST STAR – D MACKENZIE DWYER (PORTAGE)
2ND STAR – F CHASE BRAKEL (PORTAGE)
3RD STAR – WEILAND PARRISH (WINKLER)