The Winkler Flyers suffered a hard fought 3-2 loss to the visiting Virden Oil Capitals on Friday night, beginning a stretch of four games in six days. Trailing by a goal entering the third, the Flyers outshot Virden 18-7 in the final period but failed to get the equalizer, dropping their third straight game to the Oil Caps.
Nearly a week after their last game, a 4-1 win over the visiting Dauphin Kings, the Flyers welcomed the Virden Oil Capitals in search of their third straight win at home.
Winkler looked good out of the gate and generated some good chances around the Virden net. The line of Everett Bestland, Griffin Leonard and Cole Kirkup especially had some good looks in the opening minutes, but Oil Caps goaltender Riley McVeigh was sharp early on.
Virden generated some momentum after that, aided by four straight minutes of power-play time. With just over eight minutes gone in the game, Jeran Knorr scored on a goal mouth scramble giving the Oil Caps a 1-0 lead.
Winkler tied it up late in the period on a 5-on-3 power-play when Matt Christian was the recipient of a nice cross crease pass from Weiland Parrish and his 22nd of the season tied the game 1-1.
The Flyers took their first lead of the game with 7:54 left in the second as Matt Christian and Will Blake assisted on Weiland Parrish’s first goal in his last 10 games making the score 2-1 for Winkler. However, just over two minutes later, the Oil Caps would get a power-play goal of the own to pull even at two. Then just over a minute and a half after that, Virden took advantage of a turnover at the Winkler blueline and moved in front 3-2 with 4:24 left in the period.
For the rest of the game, the Flyers went looking for the equalizer and despite outshooting Virden 18-7 in the final period the game would end with the Oil Capitals in front 3-2.
Troy Martyniuk took the loss as the Oil Caps outshot the Flyers 39-34. Winkler went 1-for-6 on the power-play and 6-for-7 on the penalty-kill.
The Flyers (26-16-0) are back at it on Sunday night when they travel to Portage to take on the Terriers (28-11-3). Puck drop at Stride Place in Portage is 6:30pm. You can catch the game live on Country 88.9FM and online at www.pembinavalleyonline.com with the pregame show at 6:25pm
GREAT CANADIAN OIL CHANGE THREE STARS
1ST STAR – F RYLEE ZIMMER (VIRDEN)
2ND STAR – F MATT CHRISTIAN (WINKLER)
3RD STAR – G RILEY McVEIGH (VIRDEN)