The Orange and Black capped off their six game preseason schedule with a convincing 10-0 win over the visiting Thief River Falls Norskies, Saturday night at home. The victory gave the Flyers a 15-1 combined victory in the two game Goose Cup series against the SIJHL’s Norskies and a 4-1-1 overall record in their six game preseason schedule.
After beating the Norskie’s 5-1 in Thief River Falls on Friday night, the Flyers returned home for the second half of their friendly home and home series with the Inaugural Goose Cup on the line. Just like the night before, the Flyers were the better team in the first period.
Nico Labossiere and Dylan Dix assisted on Nolan McGuire’s goal to give Winkler a 1-0 lead just past the midway point of the first and the Flyers were off to the races. With seven minutes left in the frame, Coltyn Bates used a nice between the legs move to double the Flyers’ lead to 2-0 on the power-play. Tyler Lindstrom and Matt Christian assisted on the goal. Outshooting the Norskie’s 18-5 through 20 minutes, the Flyers took their two goal lead into the second period.
Winkler would rattle off three more goals in the second, starting with a pair of markers by rookie standout Gino Lucia. Lucia’s fifth and sixth of the preseason gave Winkler a 4-0 lead before the period was half done. Matt Christian would score a nice short-handed goal with 8:30 to play before the break to give Winkler a 5-0 lead after two periods.
The Flyers tacked on five more goals in the third to put the game away. Matt Christian scored his second of the night just past the five minute mark of the period to make the score 6-0 for the home side. Christian then assisted on Bates’ second of the game just minutes later and the Flyers lead had grown to 7-0. It was Christian’s fifth point of the game.
Just before the half way point of the third, Lucia cut across the goal mouth and back handed home his third of the night and seventh of the exhibition season to put Winkler up by eight. Captain Connor Hamonic and fellow 20 year old Jeff Michiels also scored before the end and the Flyers would skate away with a 10-0 victory in their final game of the preseason.
Both Cole Weaver and Aaron Brunn were perfect for the Flyers in goal, each playing 30 minutes. Winkler outshot the Norskies 55-12 in the hockey game. Much like Friday’s game in Minnesota, the contest had a physical element to it which made it very exciting for the fans.
After going 4-1-1 in the preseason, the Flyers will now put the finishing touches on their 25 man roster before travelling to Neepawa on Friday, September 23rd to kick off the 2016-2017 Manitoba Junior Hockey League Regular Season Schedule. The Flyers will then host the Natives on Saturday, September 24th in their Regular Season Home Opener. The Flyers will be holding a kick off BBQ before the game outside of the Winkler Rec Complex. The BBQ is FREE with the purchase of a game ticket or a VIP pass.
NOTE: Defenseman Lawson McDonald left Saturday’s game after being struck in the face with a stick. The injury sustained is not expected to be serious and he shouldn’t miss any action. Forward Scott Gall also left the game with an injury. He is listed as day to day.