Despite firing 42 shots on goal, the Winkler Flyers dropped a 3-1 decision to the visiting Neepawa Natives in their home opener on Saturday night. Coltyn Bates scored the lone goal for the Flyers, who were once again undone by untimely penalties and missed opportunities on the power-play.
The night before in Neepawa, the Flyers failed to hit their stride offensively and spent far too much time in the penalty box. Unfortunately for Winkler, the second game of the regular season followed the same script.
Playing in front of their home crowd for the first time, the Flyers got off to a good start. With just under five minutes gone in the game, Coltyn Bates scored the game’s first goal, giving Winkler a 1-0 lead. Brock Montgomery and Matt Christian assisted on Bates’ second goal of the season.
Neepawa tied the game just past the halfway point of the first. A real missed opportunity came later in the period when the Flyers were given a five minute power-play after defenseman Max Daerendinger was the victim of a checking from behind penalty to Neepawa forward Nolan Richards. Not only did the Flyers fail to score on that power-play, but they took a number of penalties of their own and spent most of those five minutes short-handed.
After a scoreless second period, the game went tied 1-1 into the third with the Flyers outshooting Neepawa 30-25.
The start of the third was not ideal for Winkler, as Neepawa would take a 2-1 lead on the power-play, 2:38 into the period. The Natives would then capitalize on a bad Winkler line change not even two minutes later to go ahead 3-1.
The Flyers spent the rest of the period trying to get back into the game, only to see their chances come up short. The loss was another frustrating one for Winkler who failed to show the consistency shown during the pre-season.
Troy Martyniuk took the loss in goal for Winkler despite playing another solid game. The Flyers outshot Neepawa 42-34. The Flyers were 0-for-8 on the power-play and 3-for-4 on the penalty-kill.
The Flyers will host the Winnipeg Blues on Tuesday, September 26th in their next game. Puck drop at the Winkler Rec Complex is 7:30pm with advance tickets available at the Winkler Coop Gas Bar and Petro Canada Gas Bar. You can also watch the game live on www.hockeytv.com.
GREAT CANADIAN OIL CHANGE THREE STARS
1ST STAR – G EVAN ROBERT (NEEPAWA)
2ND STAR – F JORDAN MARTIN (NEEPAWA)
3RD STAR – F COLTYN BATES (WINKLER)