Thanks to a five point night from Scott Gall and an all around great effort from the offence, the Winkler Flyers stopped their two game losing skid with an impressive 7-3 win in Neepawa.
Playing their third game of the season against the Natives, the Flyers returned to the place where their 2016-17 regular season began. With two wins already this year against Neepawa, the Flyers were looking for an offensive outbreak after recording 85 shots on goal in their last two games but having only one goal to show for it.
Winkler opened the scoring early thanks to Braden Billaney’s third of the season just 1:24 into the game. Matt Christian followed that up with a nice power-play goal near the end of the first and Winkler took a 2-0 lead into the break.
Coltyn Bates scored his second of the year just over six and a half minutes into the second to open up a three goal lead for the Flyers. Minutes later the Natives got one back to cut Winkler’s lead to 3-1.
With 9:48 left in the middle frame, Scott Gall fed the puck across the goal mouth to rookie forward Gino Lucia who potted his second to push Winkler in front 4-1.
The second period ended early after a scary incident involving Flyers F Matt Christian who was struck in the face with a puck causing a delay in the game.
The two teams played the remaining minute and a half of the second period following the second intermission and the Flyers had a 4-1 lead on the scoreboard and a 31-11 lead on the shot clock.
Neepawa began the third period with John McCammon’s second of the game to bring the Natives to within two goals. Winkler restored their three goal cushion just past the midway point of the period when Will Blake assisted on Tyler Jubenvill’s seeing eye shot from the point.
The Flyers great offensive night continued with 6:45 left to play, and that’s when Scott Gall added to his three assist night with his first goal of the game.
John McCammon scored again for Neepawa with three minutes left on the clock but by then it was too little too late for the home side.
With 1:22 remaining, Scott Gall capped off a very impressive evening with his second goal of the game and fifth point of the night showing off his hands in front of the net. Nico Labossiere and Coltyn Bates, who also had multiple points in the game, assisted on the goal.
Cole Weaver was good when called upon on Friday night making 19 saves while improving his record to 3-1. The Flyers outshot Neepawa 45-22.
Winkler went 1-for-2 on the power-play and 2-for-2 on the penalty-kill.
The Flyers (6-3) will travel to Selkirk on Sunday afternoon for their first meeting of the season against the Steelers. You can catch the game live on Country 88 and online at www.pembinavalleyonline.com with Matt Friesen’s pregame show at 2:25pm. Puck drop at the Selkirk Rec Complex is 2:30pm.
NOTE: Braden Billaney and Matt Christian left the game due to injury. They will be reevaluated on Saturday. G Connor Slipp and F Jacob Lacasse continue to be out of the lineup due to injury.
Great Canadian Oil Change Three Stars
1st Star – F Scott Gall (Winkler)
2nd Star – F Nico Labossiere (Winkler)
3rd Star – F Coltyn Bates (Winkler)