Playing their first home game in nearly a month, the Winkler Flyers dropped a 2-1 decision to the visiting Portage Terriers. The Flyers lost the special teams battle against the league’s top club, losing in regulation at home for just the third time all season.
Coming off a four game road trip coming out of the Christmas Break, the Winkler Flyers were looking for their first win since defeating Winnipeg in their last home game on December 19th.
Goaltender Nathan Warren got the start between the pipes for Winkler and had a great first period, keeping the Terriers off the board through 20 minutes. Winkler had a number of Grade A opportunities themselves but the game went scoreless into the break with Portage outshooting Winkler 16-7 through the first 20 minutes.
With the two teams trading chances in the middle frame, the Flyers found themselves on a four minute power-play just under five minutes into the period. But, instead of this being a positive for Winkler, the Terriers scored a short-handed goal, 7:23 into the period and the Flyers were down 1-0. It was the first short-handed goal allowed by Winkler all season.
With 1:32 remaining in the period, Cam Whyte ripped a back handed shot over top of Terriers goaltender Nathan Park and the game was tied up at one. Thomas Mansbridge and Tristan Keck assisted on Whyte’s team leading 26th of the season.
The Terriers began the third on a 5-on-4 power-play and eight seconds into period they had a two man advantage. Portage then took a 2-1 lead with their second special teams goal of the game, 32 seconds into the period.
Winkler spent the rest of the period looking for the equalizer, and for the fifth straight game, the Flyers failed to translate their chances into results.
Nathan Warren (3-3-1) had a strong game between the pipes for the Flyers making 37 saves on 39 shots. The Terriers outshot the Flyers 39-29 overall. Winkler went 0-for-5 on the power-play and 2-for-3 on the penalty-kill.
The Flyers (26-10-3), who are 0-4-1 in their five games since the Christmas Break will host the Dauphin Kings (15-20-2) on Friday, January 15th (7:30pm) in their next game. Winkler is 2-1 against Dauphin this season.
GREAT CANADIAN OIL CHANGE THREE STARS
1st Star – G Nathan Warren (Winkler)
2nd Star – F Shawn Bowles (Portage)
3rd Star – F Cam Whyte (Winkler)