Jayden McCarthy scored the game winner with 1:59 left in overtime as the Winkler Flyers started their three game weekend road trip with a 3-2 win in Swan Valley. In was the Morris native’s second goal of the night and fifth in his last four games and it helped the Orange and Black improve their record to 5-5 on the year.
After dropping their last two games, the Flyers hit the road to face a Stampeders club that had won their last six games in a row and sported a perfect 6-0 home ice record. Despite a less than stellar 1-4 record at home themselves, the Flyers have been much better on the road winning three of their four games played away from the Winkler Rec Complex.
The Flyers drew first blood when rookie forward Alex Cattani sent a shot on goal and Griffin Leonard was there to bang in the rebound to give Winkler a 1-0 lead with 6:53 gone in the game. The score remained 1-0 for Winkler well into the third period thanks in large part to the play of Winkler goaltender Dylan Meilun and Swan Valley netminder Michael Davis.
The Stamps got on the board on the power-play with 7:39 left in regulation and the game was set up for an interesting finish. Just over two minutes later the Flyers got that one back as Jayden McCarthy let a shot go from the top of the right wing faceoff circle to increase his goal scoring streak to four games while giving the Flyers a 2-1 lead. Drake Burgin and Mateo Albinati picked up the assists.
In the final minutes of the third, the Stampeders went hunting for the equalizer and managed to tie the game again with their goaltender on the bench and the extra attacker on the ice sending the game to overtime.
The two teams traded chances in the extra period and the Flyers finally ended it with 1:59 left in period four. After making a great defensive play in his own zone, Flyers’ Assistant Captain Drake Burgin fired a pass up to forward Justin Svenson who carried it slowly into the Swan Valley zone. He then dropped it back to Jayden McCarthy who wired a shot past the blocker of the Stampeders goaltender to give Winkler the 3-2 victory.
Dylan Meilun had a fantastic night for Winkler in his second straight start between the pipes. The Morden native made 33 saves in the game as the Stampeders outshot the Flyers 35-32 overall. Winkler went 0-for-2 on the power-play and 1-for-2 on the penalty-kill.
The Flyers (5-5-0) and Stampeders (7-1-1) will play again Saturday night in Swan River. Puck drop at the Swan River Centennial Arena is 7:30pm with Matt Friesen’s pregame show on Country 88 and online at www.pembinavalleyonline.com getting underway at 7:25pm. You can also watch the game live with a subscription to www.hockeytv.com