The Winkler Flyers took Game One of the Inaugural Goose Cup, with a 5-1 win over the Thief River Falls Norskies on Friday night. The Flyers got goals from five different skaters and played a very solid defensive game in their second last preseason contest of the year.
Making their way to Minnesota, for the road portion of their home and home series against the SIJHL’s Norskies, the Flyers came out of the gate strong and played a near perfect opening 20 minutes. Winkler played the majority of the period in the attacking zone and opened the scoring with around four minutes left before the break. Returning forward Braden Billaney finished off a nice pass from rookie Gino Lucia and the Flyers led 1-0.
With just seconds left in the opening frame, Nolan McGuire found the back of the net on the power-play and the Flyers took a 2-0 lead into the intermission. Winkler outshot Thief River Falls 24-5 in the first 20 minute period.
The game as a whole was very physical and Winkler found themselves in some penalty trouble early in the second. While on a 5-on-3 power-play, a Norskie shot bounced off a leg in front and flipped over top of Winkler netminder Connor Slipp, cutting the Flyers’ lead to 2-1. That would be the only offence that the Norskie’s would muster.
Just three minutes later, Tyler Jubenvll got that one back for Winkler with Nico Labossiere drawing the assist. Near the end of the second period, defenseman Lawson McDonald capped off a nice rush with the Flyers fourth goal and Winkler took their three goal lead into the second intermission. Scott Gall assisted on the goal.
It was a hard hitting game with a couple of fights thrown in, highlighted by a Mitch Dyck tilt in the third period that put the momentum even more on the Flyers’ side. The Flyers would add another goal with eight minutes left in regulation thanks to Gino Lucia’s fourth of the preseason.
Both Connor Slipp and Cole Weaver played great in goal for Winkler, each playing 30 minutes. The Flyers outshot the Norskies 57-17 overall.
The same two teams will go at it again, Saturday night at the Winkler Recreation Complex in the Flyers’ preseason finale. Puck drop in Winkler is 7:30pm. Admission is $5 at the door. The Flyers preseason record is now 3-1-1.
NOTES: The Goose Cup is a “just for fun” two game preseason series between the Flyers and the Norskies. The Winner of the cup is determined by wins, or by goals for and against if both teams win one game. Tyler Jubenvill and Nolan McGuire made their preseason debut’s in the game. The two returning players missed the first four preseason games due to injury. Newcomer F Tayden Woods also made his Flyers’ debut.