Special teams once again played a large roll in Game Three as the Virden Oil Capitals got past the Winkler Flyers 3-1 on Tuesday night. None of the four goals in the game were scored 5-on-5, as the Oil Caps cut Winkler’s lead in this best of seven quarterfinal series to 2-1.
With wins in the first two games, the Flyers returned home looking to take a strangle hold lead in the series. Of the 14 goals scored in the first two games, seven of them were scored on the power-play. The first period saw the Flyers generate of number of great chances, but missed opportunities and a few goal posts held Winkler off the scoreboard in the opening period.
Late in the first, Virden took advantage of one of their eight power-plays in the game and took a 1-0 lead into the break. After another scoreless second period, the Oil Caps took their one goal lead into the third.
The chances kept coming for Winkler in the final period but Virden would double their lead to 2-0 with 6:30 gone in the period with their sixth power-play goal of the series. Not even three minutes later, Winkler cut Virden’s lead in half with a power-play goal of their own. Taking the puck from goaltender Troy Martyniuk, Tyler Jubenvill raced it down the left wing side of the ice and threw it in front of the Virden net to Braden Billaney who jammed home his first of the playoffs.
The Flyers spent the next 10 minutes looking for the equalizer, but unlike Game One where the Flyers scored twice in the final five minutes to force overtime, the tying goal would not come in Game Three. Virden tacked on an empty net goal with just two seconds left on the clock and would go on to win their first game of the series.
Troy Martyniuk took the loss in goal for Winkler, despite playing another solid game, as the Flyers outshot Virden 32-16. Winkler was 1-for-5 on the power-play and 6-for-8 on the penalty-kill.
Game Four of the series will be played at Tundra Oil & Gas Place in Virden on Thursday, March 16th. Puck drop is 7:30pm with the pregame show getting underway on Country 88.9FM and online at www.pembinavalleyonline.com at 7:25pm. The road team has won two of the three games in this series, including Winkler’s 4-1 win in Virden in Game Two. The Flyers Game Three loss also guarantees a Game Five back in Winkler on Friday, March 17th. Advance tickets for that game can be picked up any time at the Winkler Coop Gas Bar.
GREAT CANADIAN OIL CHANGE THREE STARS
1ST STAR – F TYLER KIRKUP (VIRDEN)
2ND STAR – D JORDAN THOMSON (VIRDEN)
3RD STAR – F BRADEN BILLANEY (WINKLER)