The Winkler Flyers flew past the Thief River Falls Norskies 9-1 on Friday night, taking game one of the exhibition Goose Cup series. Newcomer Bryce Krauter led the way with a goal and three assists to help the Orange and Black pick up their first preseason victory.
After dropping their preseason opener to the Virden Oil Capitals on Wednesday night, the Flyers welcomed the SIJHL’s Thief River Falls Norskies looking to rebound from that loss and learn a little bit more about their club as they move closer to the start of the regular season.
The Flyers dressed a more veteran laden lineup than they did on Wednesday and came out of the gate strong in this fourth annual exhibition event. Winkler drew first blood just over 12 minutes into the game when 20 year old forward Tanner Barbeau entered the Norskies’ zone short-handed and picked the far side of the net to put Winkler in front 1-0 with his second goal of the pre-season. Just over two minutes later, Thief River Falls pulled even with a short-handed goal of their own and the game was tied 1-1.
With just over three minutes left in the opening frame, Mateo Albinati flipped a back hander over Norskies’ goaltender Nathan Shield to put Winkler back in from 2-1. Winkler native Trenton Penner and third year forward Griffin Leonard picked up the assists and their Flyers took their one goal lead into the break.
Winkler took over the game in the middle frame by taking advantage on the power-play. Before the period was 10 minutes old, both Everett Bestland and Brody Moffatt would cash in on the power-play and Winkler had a 4-1 lead through 40 minutes while outshooting Thief River Falls 33-14.
The Flyers put the game away in the third period, firing nearly 30 more shots on net and adding five more goals to their total. First it was Sulivan Shortreed scoring before the five minute mark to give Winkler a 5-1 lead. Bryce Krauter, who was picked up in a trade this off-season and assisted on the first goal of the period, earned another helper on Alex Cattani’s goal at the 7:04 mark of the third, and the Flyers led 6-1.
In the final six and a half minutes of regulation, Shortreed would score again and Drake Burgin and Bryce Krauter would also find the back of the net and the Flyers would end up with a 9-1 victory.
Morden native Dylan Meilun got the start for Winkler and allowed one goal on the nine shots he faced. Carson Cherepak played the second half of the game for the Flyers and stopped all nine shots that came his way. Winkler outshot Thief River Falls 61-18 overall, 28-4 in the third period alone.
The Flyers and Norskies will meet again on Saturday night in Thief River Falls, Minnesota in Winkler’s third game of the pre-season. Puck drop in Thief River Falls is 7pm and you can catch the game live with a subscription to www.hockeytv.com