The Winkler Flyers offense hit their stride on Friday night in a 7-1 victory over the Waywayseecappo Wolverines. Special teams were a big factor for the Flyers, as four of their goals came on the power-play with one coming short-handed.
Beginning a stretch of three games in three days, the Flyers welcomed the Waywayseecappo Wolverines to the Rec Complex for Petro Canada Black Friday. Needing a win to get back to .500 on the season, the Orange and Black had a strong opening 20 minutes.
For the third time in four games the Flyers scored first thanks to Cole Kirkup’s first of the season just over six minutes into the game. Line-mates Coltyn Bates and Matt Christian drew the assists. The Flyers had a number of opportunities to add to their lead in the first, but settled for a one goal lead after one period while outshooting their opponent 19-12.
Just before the five minute mark of the second, Winkler doubled their lead thanks to a pair of rookie forwards. Taking the drop pass from Griffin Leonard, Everett Bestland drilled a slap shot through Wayway goaltender Ethan Peterson, scoring his first goal as a Flyer. The Wolverines cut Winkler’s lead in half with 6:34 to play in the period, scoring their first goal just moments after a Winkler penalty had come to an end.
The Flyers would get that one back and more before the period ended, as Cole Kirkup and Nolan McGuire both scored power-play goals in the final three minutes, giving Winkler a 4-1 lead after 40 minutes.
Winkler put their foot on the gas in the third period, scoring three more times. Exactly nine minutes into the period, Matt Christian sent a pass to the front of the net to Coltyn Bates who banged home his third of the season short-handed. It was Christian’s third assist of the game and team leading fifth of the season. Now leading 5-1, the Flyers went back on the power-play and that’s where their next goal came.
After circling the puck around the attacking zone, defenseman Mitch Dyck sent a perfect one-time slap shot on goal. While battling for position in front, Brody Moffatt redirected the shot off the post and in to extend Winkler’s lead to 6-1. Assistant Captain Brett Opperman also assisted on Moffatt’s first of the season.
The Flyers added one more in the final minute of regulation as Will Blake’s shot deflected off of McGuire and in for the Captain’s second of the game and team leading fourth of the year.
Rookie goaltender Aaron Brunn made 29 saves while earning his first win, in his first start of the season. Winkler outshot Wayway 52-30 overall. The Flyers power-play was on point, going 4-for-4 while also going 6-for-6 on the penalty-kill.
The Flyers (2-2-0) will host the Dauphin Kings (0-4-0) on Saturday night, looking for their third straight win. Puck drop at the Winkler Rec Complex is 7:30pm. Advance tickets are available at the Winkler Coop Gas Bar and Petro Canada Gas Bar.
GREAT CANADIAN OIL CHANGE THREE STARS
1ST STAR – F MATT CHRISTIAN (WINKLER)
2ND STAR – F COLE KIRKUP (WINKLER)
3RD STAR – F NOLAN McGUIRE (WINKLER)