Lawson McDonald scored two goals in the final two minutes, including the game winner with one second left on the clock as the Winkler Flyers edged the Swan Valley Stampeders 4-3 on Friday night. Beginning a stretch of three games in three days, the Flyers used a dramatic third period comeback to stay perfect against the Stamps and start their trip off on the right foot.
Winners of four of their last five games, the Flyers made their final regular season trip to Swan River to play their fifth game of the year against the Stampeders. Winkler had four wins in their four previous games against the Stamps, with Scott Gall scoring the game winner with just 24 seconds left in the game in their last meeting one week ago in Winkler.
The Flyers had a dream start to the hockey game, taking a 1-0 lead just 14 seconds into the first. Kayden Jarvis tracked down the puck in the left wing corner and flipped it on goal to Kurt Sonne who batted it past Zach De Graves to snap a personal 19 game goalless drought. Scott Gall increased his point streak to six games with the other assist on Sonne’s third of the year.
The Stampeders pushed back after that and tied the game up at one just over four minutes later. The two teams skated into the first intermission tied 1-1 with the Flyers outshooting the Stamps 10-9.
Winkler went back in front just over two minutes into the second period thanks to a pretty goal by Cam Whyte. The unassisted marker was Whyte’s 29th of the year and second in as many games.
However, the Stampeders went back on the attack and forward Riley McKay tied the game, 6:36 into the second. McKay then moved the Stamps in front 3-2 with his second of the game with 5:51 left in the period.
One week ago in Winkler, the Flyers trailed the Stampeders by two goals in the third before mounting their comeback and eventually getting the win. Tonight’s comeback started late in regulation. Off a set faceoff play in the Swan Valley zone, Jeff Michiels skated the puck into the left wing corner and fired a pass to a pinching Lawson McDonald who shoveled the puck into the net with 1:47 left in the third.
Now looking to win the game in regulation, the Flyers kept pressing. With the Flyers continuing to generate chances and with time winding down, the puck kicked out to McDonald in the right slot and the Flyers’ assistant captain ripped in the game winner with just one second left on the clock to give Winkler the 4-3 win. Kurt Sonne and Kayden Jarvis picked up the assists on McDonald’s second of the game and fifth of the season.
Nathan Warren increased his record to 7-3-1 and 26 save performance. The Flyers outshot the Stampeders 32-29 overall. Winkler went 0-for-2 on the power-play and 3-for-3 on the penalty-kill.
The Flyers are now 5-0 against the Stampeders with their final meeting of the season coming Friday, February 5th back in Winkler.
The Flyers (31-11-3) will travel to Waywayseecappo (13-29-4) on Saturday night for the first game of their two day double header against the Wolverines. You can catch the game live on Country 88.9FM and online at www.pembinavalleyonline.com with Matt Friesen’s pregame show at 7:25pm. The Flyers are 2-0-1 against the Wolverines this season.
Great Canadian Oil Change Three Stars
1st Star – D Lawson McDonald (Winkler)
2nd Star – F Riley McKay (Swan Valley)
3rd Star – F Kurt Sonne (Winkler)
Winkler Canvas Hardest Working Flyer
F – Jeff Michiels