The Winkler Flyers 2014-2015 season came to an end on Saturday night with a 3-2 overtime loss to the Virden Oil Capitals in Game Six of their MJHL Quarterfinal series. Scott Gall tied the game with just 19 seconds left in regulation, forcing overtime for the fourth time in the series.
After losing 4-2 in Game Five, Thursday night at home, the Winkler Flyers travelled to Tundra Oil & Gas Place in Virden needing a win to keep their season alive. If they could find a way to win Game Six, then a winner take all Game Seven would go Sunday night in Winkler.
The Flyers went back to goaltender Dasan Sydora in Virden and also had Captain Patrice Wren back in the lineup. Wren had missed the last three games with an injury and Sydora hadn’t played since Game One.
Virden got on the board first just 1:44 into the game when Zach Whitecloud scored from the right point, giving the home team a 1-0 lead. Winkler responded on the power-play just over six minutes later. With 8:32 gone in the first, Cam Whyte and Evan Last assisted on Jon Carlson’s wrister from the blueline which tied the game 1-1. It was Carlson’s second goal of the playoffs.
Winkler spent nearly the entire second half of the period on the penalty-kill and went into the first intermission tied 1-1. After Lucas Oliver put Virden back in front 2-1, early in the second frame, Winkler went back to the penalty-kill. It was their second, lengthy 5-on-3 kill of the night and for the second time in the game they were able to kill it off.
Still looking for the equalizer in the third period, the Flyers desperation level began to climb as time started to tick away. With Dasan Sydora on the bench in favor of an extra attacker, the Flyers went on the power-play with 49 seconds to play in regulation. Now on a 6-on-4 man advantage, the Flyers started to push for the tying goal.
With only 19 seconds left on the clock, Scott Gall fired a shot through the five-hole of Sean Kuehn, sending the game to overtime for the fourth time during this best of seven series. Cam Whyte and Patrice Wren assisted on the Morden native’s second of the post season.
However, the Flyers late game magic ran dry in the end when Torrin Grange took a pass from behind the Flyers’ net and scored the game winner with 5:55 left in the first overtime period, giving the Oil Caps the 3-2, series clinching win.
Dasan Sydora made 39 saves in his final game as a Flyer. Virden outshot Winkler 42-24 overall in the hockey game. Winkler was 2-for-3 on the power-play and 8-for-8 on the penalty-kill.
Cam Whyte led all Flyers in playoff scoring with eight points (3 goals – 5 assists) in six games.
The Flyers will be graduating nine 20 year olds this year with 15 of the 24 players on the playoff roster eligible to return next season. Goaltender’s Dasan Sydora and Devon Fordyce along with defensemen Jon Carlson and Reid Burak, and forwards Patrice Wren, Ryne Keller, Bryce Enns, Jagger Thomas and Brett Klassen have now graduated from Junior hockey. The Flyers would like to wish all of them the best in whatever the future holds and thank them for their leadership and contributions to the team both on and off the ice.
The Winkler Flyers Hockey Club would also like to thank their fans, volunteers, billets, parents and supporters for a memorable season. After a regular season which saw a lot of growth and improved results, the Flyers are already looking ahead to the 2015-2016 season with a lot of optimism. With six of the Flyers Top 10 point producers and five of the seven defensemen eligible to return, the future is very bright for the Orange and Black.
We look forward to seeing you back in the arena next season.
Thank You for your support!