The Winkler Flyers stumbled in a 3-1 loss to the Steinbach Pistons on Friday night, losing for just the second time in regulation this season. The line of Coltyn Bates, Kurt Sonne and Nolan McGuire was the bright spot for the Flyers who had their chances, but had a hard time getting the puck past Pistons goaltender Jeremy Wik.
Playing each other for the fourth time in ten games, the Flyers and Pistons met at the TG Smith Centre in Steinbach for the first time since kicking off the regular season back on September 25th.
For the ninth time in the Flyers 10 regular season games, they scored the first goal of the game. Just past the seven minute mark of the opening period, Kurt Sonne sprung Coltyn Bates on a partial breakaway and the rookie forward tucked home his second of the year to give Winkler a 1-0 lead. Nolan McGuire also assisted on the goal.
Steinbach tied the game 1-1 at the 13:34 mark thanks to Matthieu Gomercic’s first of the game. The two team’s skated into the first intermission tied at one with the Pistons outshooting the Flyers 13-10.
The Pistons added a power-play goal early in the second period to take a 2-1 lead. Winkler took it to Pistons in the second half of the middle period and did everything but score the tying goal.
Winkler continued to come inches away from drawing even in the third period as well, but Jeremy Wik stood tall in goal for the Pistons. After several minutes of steady pressure by the Flyers in the Steinbach zone, the Pistons came down the ice and Matthieu Gomercic had the puck deflect off his leg and into the back of the Flyers’ net, pushing Steinbach in front 3-1 with 10:20 to play in the third.
Ryan Larochelle made 34 saves in the loss, as his record slipped to 5-2-1. Winkler went 0-for-3 on the power-play and 2-for-3 on the penalty-kill. It was the first game this season that the Flyers failed to score a power-play goal.
The Flyers (7-2-1) remain in second place in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League Standings and will host the Waywayseecappo Wolverines (3-5-2) on Saturday, October 17th at 7:30pm. Advance tickets can be purchased at the Winkler Coop Gas Bar.
GREAT CANADIAN OIL CHANGE THREE STARS
1st Star – Jeremy Wik – Steinbach (26 saves)
2nd Star – Matthieu Gomercic – Steinbach (2 goals)
3rd Star – Coltyn Bates – Winkler (1 goal)