Coltyn Bates scored twice in regulation and Brett Opperman scored the lone goal of the shootout as the Winkler Flyers beat the visiting OCN Blizzard 5-4 on Saturday night, moving back into sole possession of fourth place in the MJHL Standings. Troy Martyniuk made 32 saves through 65 minutes and stopped all five Blizzard shooters while earning his league leading 25th win of the season.
Less than 24 hours after losing 4-1 to the Blizzard on Friday night, the Flyers looked to finish their six game season series with OCN on a positive note. After scoring no more than two goals in any of their previous five meetings, the Flyers seemed to break out on Saturday night.
Winkler got off to a fast start and opened the scoring before the game was three minutes old. On the power-play Coltyn Bates carried the puck towards the net and snapped home his 19th of the year to give Winkler a 1-0 lead.
Less than a minute later, Brody Moffatt tipped in a point shot from Erik Dahl and the Flyers lead had doubled to 2-0 thanks to Moffatt’s sixth of the year and first since November 21st. The Flyers kept rolling and increased their lead to 3-0 thanks to Mitch Dyck’s shot from the blueline just a few minutes later. Griffin Leonard and Connor Beebe assisted on Dyck’s fifth goal of the season.
The Blizzard caught a break just moments later when Daylon Campbell sent a shot past a screened Troy Martyniuk and the Flyers took their two goal lead into the intermission.
OCN fought back in the second and rallied for the next two goals to tie the game 3-3. Then with 7:20 left in the period, Will Blake picked up his second assist of the game on Coltyn Bates’ second goal of the game and the Flyers were back in front 4-3. After scoring just once in a span of 16 games, Bates has now recorded four goals in his last four games.
Just 20 minutes away from an important victory, the Flyers tried to keep OCN at bay the rest of the way. However, the Blizzard would find that back of the net on the power-play with 10:42 left in regulation and the game was once again tied 4-4.
It would remain tied after 60 minutes and also after overtime and a shootout would be required to decide a winner. After the first four rounds of the shootout produced no goals, Flyers’ Assistant Captain Brett Opperman started round five with a wrist shot to the top right corner of the net. It was then up to Troy Martyniuk who stopped OCN defenseman Riley Shamray to give the Flyers the much needed extra point and the 5-4 victory.
Martyniuk finished the game with 32 saves through 65 minutes of play and five saves in the shootout. Winkler outshot OCN 49-36 overall. The Flyers were 1-for-4 on the power-play and 2-for-3 on the penalty-kill.
The Flyers (31-21-0) are now one point ahead of the Blizzard for fourth place in the MJHL Standings with just eight games left in the regular season. Winkler is also eight points behind the third place Virden Oil Capitals with a game in hand.
GREAT CANADIAN OIL CHANGE THREE STARS
1ST STAR – F BRETT OPPERMAN (WINKLER)
2ND STAR – G TROY MARTYNIUK (WINKLER)
3RD STAR – G COLTYN BATES (WINKLER)