Weiland Parrish scored 1:42 into overtime as the Winkler Flyers grinded out a 2-1 victory over the Winnipeg Blues on Tuesday night, earning their sixth win in a row. After scoring seven goals in each of their last two games, their third meeting of the year against the Blues was a much more defensive battle.
Playing their final home game before heading back on the road for the next three, the Orange and Black welcomed the Winnipeg Blues looking to put the finishing touches on their undefeated homestand. Including their weekend wins over Selkirk and Waywayseecappo, the Flyers entered play on Tuesday having won their last five games and 12 of their last 13, moving them just two points away from a share of top spot in the MJHL standings.
The Flyers carried the play early on and took a 1-0 lead just over eight minutes into the game when Brett Opperman’s shot kicked off a skate and between the legs of Jeremy Link for the game’s first goal. Cole Kirkup and Brody Moffatt assisted on the Killarney native’s fourth of the season. It was the third straight game in which Kirkup and Opperman registered a point, and the second consecutive game for Moffatt.
Winnipeg tied the game 1-1, taking advantage of a Winkler turnover a few minutes later and the two teams skated into the first intermission tied at a goal a piece with Winkler outshooting the Blues 17-8.
For the rest of regulation, Blues’ netminder Jeremy Link prevented the Flyers from getting the go ahead goal despite Winkler leading 44-24 on the shot clock through 60 minutes. During the 3-on-3 overtime, the extra room on the ice provided good chances for both teams in the opening minute and with just under two minutes gone in the extra frame, Winkler would end it.
Picking up the puck deep in his own zone, Flyers’ forward Weiland Parrish charged down the ice and saw his wrist shot deflect off the shoulder of Link and trickle across the goal line for the game winner. It was Parrish’s seventh goal of the season and fourth in his last three games.
Troy Martyniuk made 24 saves while earning his league best ninth win of the season. The Flyers outshot Winnipeg 45-25 overall, went 0-for-2 on the power-play and 2-for-2 on the penalty-kill.
Next up for the Flyers (13-3-0) is a weekend double header against the OCN Blizzard (12-3-2) on Friday and Saturday night. Puck drop both nights is 7pm at the Gordon Lathlin Memorial Centre in OCN. Both games can be heard live on Country 88.9fm and online at www.pembinavalleyonline.com.
GREAT CANADIAN OIL CHANGE THREE STARS
1ST STAR – F WEILAND PARRISH (WINKLER)
2ND STAR – G JEREMY LINK (WINNIPEG)
3RD STAR – F BRETT OPPERMAN (WINKLER)