The Winkler Flyers fired 44 shots on goal and got past the Kings 4-1 on Saturday night in their final meeting of the season against Dauphin. Matt Christian led the way with two goals and Troy Martyniuk was great between the pipes as the Orange and Black earned their 26th win of the season.
With four wins in their previous five games against the Kings, the two teams met for the sixth and final time of the regular season. The Flyers were looking to rebound after suffering a 4-2 loss in Winnipeg in their last game on Wednesday night, while the Kings were coming off a loss in Portage on Friday.
The Flyers had nothing to complain about in the first period as they came out of the gate strong, playing the vast majority of the opening frame in the Kings zone. After scoring the first goal of the game just three times in their last 10 games, it was the Flyers who struck first with 5:32 left in the period. Taking the puck out of the left wing corner, Brett Opperman carried it across the goal mouth and tucked in his ninth of the year to put Winkler on the board first. Linemate’s Brody Moffatt and Jacob Lacasse drew the assists.
Winkler added another one later in the period when leading scorer Matt Christian jumped on a rebound and scored his 20th of the season to give Winkler a 2-0 lead. Mitch Dyck and Coltyn Bates picked up the assists. Aided by four power-plays in the period, Winkler outshot the Kings 21-7 in the first 20 minutes. It was a good period defensively for Winkler, as the Kings failed to get their first shot on goal until there was 8:43 left in the period.
The second period was much of the same for Winkler as they fired 12 more shots on goal but failed to add to their lead thanks in large part to Dauphin netminder Brennan Kitchen.
The Flyers jumped out to a 3-0 lead early in the third period when Collin Caulfield and Connor Beebe assisted on Jacob Lacasse’s sixth of the year, snapping a 22 game goal drought. The game took a more emotional turn after that as a total of 81 penalty minutes were handed out between the two teams in the third period alone.
During one of the brief moments of 5-on-5 play, Matt Christian scored a pretty goal with his back hand and Winkler was out in front 4-0. Coltyn Bates and Will Blake assists on Christian’s second of the night with 6:43 left in the game.
With the Kings on a late game power-play, Ian Briscoe finally beat Winkler goaltender Troy Martyniuk with just 11 seconds left to spoil the shutout and force the Flyers to settle for the 4-1 victory.
Martyniuk was great between the pipes for the Flyers, making 26 saves while earning his 20th win of the season. The Flyers outshot the Kings 44-27 and finished their six game regular season series with a 5-1 record against Dauphin.
The Flyers (26-15-0) will now enjoy a week off before hosting the Virden Oil Capitals on Friday, January 19th. You can catch that game live on Hockey TV.
Troy Martyniuk, Mitch Dyck, Collin Caulfield, Nolan McGuire, Matt Christian, Coltyn Bates, Weiland Parrish, Will Blake, CJ Corazzin and Brody Moffatt along with coaches Ken Pearson and Steve Mullin will head to Regina to take part in the SJHL/MJHL Showcase Monday and Tuesday. The Flyers wish all their players and the rest of the MJHL the best of luck in Saskatchewan.
GREAT CANADIAN OIL CHANGE THREE STARS
1ST STAR – F MATT CHRISTIAN (WINKLER)
2ND STAR – G TROY MARTYNIUK (WINKLER)
3RD STAR – F JACOB LACASSE (WINKLER)