Weiland Parrish scored his third goal of the game, 1:42 into overtime as the Winkler Flyers advanced to the second round of the playoffs with a 7-6 win in Game Six of their opening round series against the OCN Blizzard. It was a thrilling back and fourth game that featured numerous lead changes and momentum swings and was a fitting end to a very entertaining series.
With a chance to win the series at home, the Winkler Flyers got off to a great start in Game Six after falling 4-3 in double overtime in Game Five in OCN on Friday. Just 1:54 into the game, Cole Kirkup took a pass from Will Blake and banked a shot off OCN goaltender Emilien Boily and in, giving Winkler a 1-0 lead.
Just over four minutes later, Mitch Dyck and Coltyn Bates assisted on Weiland Parrish’s first of the series and the Flyers had doubled their lead to 2-0. Winkler kept rolling in the first and moved in front 3-0 with another goal just three minutes later. It was Parrish again, scoring on the power-play with Mitch Dyck and Collin Caulfield drawing the assists. Winkler outshot the Blizzard 16-8 in the first 20 minutes and carried their three goal lead into the second period.
With their backs against the wall, the Blizzard came at the Flyers hard in the middle frame,scoring three times in the opening 4:33 of the second, tying the game 3-3. OCN then moved in front 4-3 with 4:44 left in the period and the momentum was on the side of the road team.
Then with 3:42 left in the period, Brett Opperman carried the puck towards the Blizzard net and shoveled in the Flyers’ fourth goal, tying the game 4-4 heading into the second intermission. Despite giving up four goals in the second, Troy Martyniuk played well as OCN outshot Winkler 29-8 in the period.
OCN regained the lead before the six minute mark of the third with their second power-play goal of the game, but Winkler was quick to respond. Just 27 seconds later, Brett Opperman scored from the left wing slot and the game was once again tied. Coltyn Bates and Mitch Dyck assisted on Opperman’s second of the game and team leading sixth of the playoffs.
However, OCN scored again not even a minute later and Winkler found themselves behind 6-5 with 12:39 left in regulation. With the potential of a Game Seven up in OCN on Tuesday, the Flyers pressed for the tying goal late in the third and with 5:39 left on the clock, Mitch Dyck sent a wrist shot on goal, beating Boily over the glove tying the game 6-6. Parrish and Bates assisted on Dyck’s first of the post-season.
Late in regulation, the Flyers were given a five minute power-play that carried into overtime. With seven power-play goals already scored in the playoffs, the Flyers would seal it just before the two minute mark of the first overtime period. Taking the pass beside the net, Cole Kirkup fired a cross crease pass to Weiland Parrish who snapped home his third of the night, winning the game 7-6 and giving the Flyers a 4-2 win in the best of seven opening round series. Mitch Dyck also assisted on the goal, picking up his sixth point of the night while extending his point streak to 12 games.
Troy Martyniuk got the win in net as the Blizzard outshot the Flyers 45-29. Winkler went 2-for-4 on the power-play and 3-for-5 on the penalty-kill. Winkler finished the series with eight power-play goals in six games, and 15 power-play goals in their last 12 games dating back to the regular season.
The Flyers now advance to the Manitoba Junior Hockey League Semi-Final for the third straight season. Their opponent in the second round is yet to be determined. Check www.winklerflyers.com for more information in the coming days.
The Flyers would like to thank the OCN Blizzard for a tremendous series.
NOTE: Matt Christian, Nolan McGuire, Griffin Leonard and Jacob Lacasse all missed the game due to injury.
GREAT CANADIAN OIL CHANGE THREE STARS
1ST STAR – F WEILAND PARRISH (WINKLER)
2ND STAR – D MITCH DYCK (WINKLER)
3RD STAR – F MARK LIWISKI (OCN)