The Winkler Flyers fired 39 shots at Oil Caps goaltender Sean Kuehn and beat him only once in a 5-1 loss in Virden in the first of six straight games on the road. The Orange and Black had enough chances to win the game, but were forced to settle for their fourth road loss in their last six games away from home.
Traveling to Virden for the first time this season, the Winkler Flyers were trying to keep their spot in second place in the MJHL standings, having earned at least a point in five straight games. The Flyers and Oil Capitals had met just once before this season with Winkler coming out on the wrong side of the decision at home back in November. The Flyers had also never lost a game at Tundra Oil and Gas Place since the Oil Capitals moved from Winnipeg before the 2012-2013 season.
The Flyers had a good first period and had numerous chances to score only to be turned away by Virden goaltender Sean Kuehn. Winkler outshot Virden 11-6 in the period and went into the first intermission in a scoreless tie.
Virden capitalized on their chances in the second and quickly had a 2-0 lead before the period was five minutes old. The Oil Caps took a 3-0 lead on the power-play with just under three minutes left on the clock and Winkler trailed by three heading into the break, despite generating offensive pressure in the Virden zone.
Just after a Flyers power-play to start the third period, the home team extended their cushion to four goals, 1:36 into the period. Jordan Greig then scored his second of the game, on the power-play with just over eleven and a half minute left in regulation and Virden had a 5-0 lead.
Winkler continued to fire pucks on goal and a bounce finally went their way with exactly three minutes to go in the hockey game. After taking the pass from Patrice Wren, Virden native Cam Whyte rung a shot off the cross bar. Luckily for Winkler, Tristan Keck was right there to knock the rebound into the net to cut Virden’s lead to 5-1. It was Keck’s league leading 37th goal of the season.
Dasan Sydora (20-6-3) took the loss in goal suffering just his sixth regulation loss of the season. He made 22 saves in the game as Winkler out-shot the Oil Capitals 39-27 overall. Winkler went 0-for-5 on the power-play while Virden went 2-for-3.
The Flyers (24-11-7) have the next six days off and will continue their six game road swing in Virden on Friday, January 16th. Puck drop at Tundra Oil and Gas Place in Virden is 7:30pm with Matt Friesen’s pregame show on Country 88.9FM and online at www.pembinavalleyonline.com getting underway at 7:25pm. The game can also be heard on CJRB 1220 in Boissevain.
After the trades for forward Jagger Thomas and goaltender Devon Fordyce this week, the Flyers have one open roster spot to fill before the January 10th trading deadline. Stay tuned to www.winklerflyers.com, Twitter (@winklerflyers) or the Flyers Facebook page for up to date info on any trade deadline activity.