The Winkler Flyers dropped a 4-2 decision to the Steinbach Pistons on Monday afternoon, in their final meeting of the regular season. The game was a tight, entertaining contest right to the end as the Pistons sealed it with an empty net goal in the final minute.
After winning their last two games, the Flyers made their final regular season trip to Steinbach for a holiday Monday matinee. With five players still out of the line-up with injury, the Flyers played well against the first place Pistons in the opening period.
Steinbach opened the scoring with 3:35 left in the period when Mackenzie Graham beat Winkler netminder Troy Martyniuk upstairs for the game’s first goal. Winkler replied early in the second when Nolan McGuire scored on a slap shot from the point to tie the game 1-1. Tyler Jubenvill and Ian Mackey assisted on the power-play goal. It was McGuire’s 18th goal of the season and he scored it on his 20th birthday. For Mackey, the assist was his fifth point as part of a three game point streak and 11th point in his last six games.
The Pistons took the lead back a few minutes later with a tip in goal off the rush and the Flyers trailed 2-1 after 40 minutes.
Continuing to play well into the third, Winkler tied the game for a second time just before the four minute mark of the period. After missing his last three games with an injury, Braden Billaney redirected Tyler Jubenvill’s centering pass over the glove of Roman Bengart for his 19th goal of the season. It was also Jubenvill’s sixth point in his last three games.
Finding themselves on the penalty-kill later in the period, Winkler almost managed to defend a furious sequence of chances by the Pistons on the man advantage. After Troy Martyniuk kicked aside six or seven great chances by the Pistons, Darby Gula was able to put one by him with 10:24 left to give the home side the lead for the third time in the game.
Winkler pulled the goalie in the final minute and had their chances to draw even again, but Steinbach would score into the empty Winkler net with 16 seconds left on the clock to get the two goal victory. All in all it was a good game by the Flyers who will now head home to play four of their last five games in Winkler.
Troy Martyniuk played well in his second straight start making 35 saves on 38 shots. The Pistons outshot the Flyers 39-32 overall. The Flyers were 1-for-4 on the power-play and 2-for-2 on the penalty-kill.
The Flyers will host the OCN Blizzard on Tuesday, February 21st at 7:30pm in their next game. The Flyers are 3-2-0 against OCN this season and would win the season series with a victory. Advance tickets are available at the Winkler Coop Gas Bar or at the door prior to the game.
GREAT CANADIAN OIL CHANGE THREE STARS
1ST STAR – D DARBY GULA (STEINBACH)
2ND STAR – D TYLER JUBENVILL (WINKLER)
3RD STAR – G ROMAN BENGERT (STEINBACH)