The Winkler Flyers earned their 33rd win of the season and fourth victory in a row, in a 4-3 overtime win over the OCN Blizzard, Sunday afternoon in Winkler. Drake Burgin scored the game winner on the Flyers 59th shot of the game with just 22 seconds left on the clock to help the Orange and Black win their second overtime game of the weekend.
Less than 24 hours after Sulivan Shortreed scored the overtime winning goal against the Swan Valley Stampeders on Saturday, the Flyers welcomed the OCN Blizzard for a rare afternoon matinee. The game was the sixth and final regular season meeting between Winkler and OCN, with the Flyers picking up wins in the first five head to head match ups.
Despite entering play on Sunday with a 13-1-1 record in their last 15 games, the Flyers had scored the first goal of the game just five times during that stretch. Not only did Winkler score first against OCN, but they scored the second one as well.
Just over two minutes into the game, Connor Gallagher’s shot from the blueline found the target and Winkler had an early 1-0 lead. Carson Pawlenchuk drew the assist as the Detroit native’s first goal as a Flyer.
The Flyers kept pushing in the minutes to follow and doubled their lead to 2-0 when Kaeden Tenkoppel and Sulivan Shortreed assisted on Ian Tookenay’s 12th of the season. However, instead of the Flyers being able to carry that momentum throughout the rest of the period, the Blizzard replied with two goals of their own. The two teams skated into the first intermission tied at two with the Flyers leading 19-9 on the shot clock.
Winkler dominated play in the second, outshooting the Blizzard 22-3 in the period but thanks in large part to OCN goaltender Danick Rodrigue, the game remained tied 2-2 after two periods.
Early in the third period, the Flyers managed to get another one and it came off the stick of Eric Fawkes who banged home his fourth of the season to put Winkler back in front 3-2. However, OCN had an answer for that one as they tied the game up again with a short-handed goal midway through the period.
For the rest of the third period, Blizzard goaltender Danick Rodrigue stood on his head and kept the score tied 3-3 after 60 minutes with the Flyers outshooting the Blizzard 57-19. For the sixth time in ten games, the Flyers were headed to overtime.
After a big penalty kill to start the overtime period, the Flyers went in search of the game winner which eventually came with just 22 seconds left on the clock. Moving the puck out of his own end, Nathan Poolman spotted Griffin Leonard open in the neutral zone. From there, the puck went up to Drake Burgin who made a move around an OCN defender before lifting a back hander over the shoulder of Rodrigue to give the Flyers the 4-3 victory.
Goaltender Dylan Meilun increased his record to 11-3-1 as the Flyers outshot OCN 59-22. Winkler went 0-for-5 on the power-play and 2-for-2 on the penalty-kill. The Flyers are now 33-11-5 on the year, 16-6-3 at home, 18-2-2 when they score first and finished their regular season series against OCN with a 6-0 record.
The Flyers (33-11-5), remain in second place in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League Standings as they get set to head to Dauphin to face the Kings on Tuesday night. The Flyers are 3-0-2 against Dauphin this season. You can catch Tuesday’s game live on Country 88.9FM and online at www.pembinavalleyonline.com with Matt Friesen’s pregame show getting underway at 7:25pm. You can also watch the game live with a subscription to www.hockeytv.com