Nico Labossiere scored his second goal of the game, 2:14 into overtime to give the Winkler Flyers a 2-1 victory over the Winnipeg Blues on Friday night. Cole Weaver nearly picked up the shutout in his debut between the pipes as the Flyers increased their early season record to 3-1.
Trying to put their first loss of the season behind them, the Flyers went back on the road, looking to end the month of September on a good note. The Flyers and Blues played an exciting back and forth first period with both Cole Weaver and Adam Derochie playing well in net.
Winkler broke the scoreless tie just before the midway point of the second period when Scott Gall carried the puck into the Winnipeg zone and dished it over the Nico Labossiere who picked the top corner, giving Winkler a 1-0 lead.
It was a dominating period for Winkler who outshot the Blues 21-11 in the frame but were forced to settle for just a one goal lead heading into the third. The fact that the Flyers failed to add to their lead in the second came to bite them when the Blues tied the game early in the third on a lucky bounce goal. Just over two minutes into the third, Winnipeg Captain Geordie Keane’s shot from the left wing corner banked off the mask of Cole Weaver and in, tying the game 1-1.
The score remained the same until the end of regulation and for the first time, the Flyers were headed for the new 3-on-3 overtime format. The opening minutes of overtime were end to end chances with a lot of open ice to work with.
Just moments after Weaver made a save on a Winnipeg breakaway, Scott Gall took a stick in the face and the Flyers were headed to the power-play for the seventh time in the game. Although the Flyers power-play had not produced results during regulation, it did generate a lot of chances.
Set up in the Winnipeg zone with just under three minutes left in overtime, Lawson McDonald dropped the puck back to Nico Labossiere on the right side of the ice. With the Blues defense collapsed down low, Labossiere skated towards the net and sent his shot into the near side corner sending his teammates pouring onto the ice in celebration. It was the Winnipeg native’s second goal of the game and it gave the Flyers a 2-1 win.
Cole Weaver had a strong debut in goal for the Flyers stopping 28 of the 29 shots he faced. The Flyers outshot Winnipeg 43-29 overall. Winkler went 1-for-7 on the power-play and 4-for-4 on the penalty-kill.
Winkler will spend the next week preparing for their first three games in three nights northern road trip of the season. The Flyers will travel to Dauphin, Swan Valley and Virden on October 7th, 8th and 9th. All three games can be heard live on Country 88.9FM and online at www.pembinavalleyonline.com.
GREAT CANADIAN OIL CHANGE THREE STARS
1ST STAR – F NICO LABOSSIERE (WINKLER)
2ND STAR – G ADAM DEROCHIE (WINNIPEG)
3RD STAR – G COLE WEAVER (WINKLER)