The Winkler Flyers dropped a 3-2 decision to the Swan Valley Stampeders on Saturday night in their second straight game on the road. After starting their weekend road trip with a one goal loss in Dauphin the night before, the Orange and Black once again came up one goal short despite playing a much more complete hockey game in their final regular season game against the Stampeders.
With three wins in their previous five outings against Swan Valley, the Flyers were looking to bounce back from Friday night’s loss with another strong game against the Stampeders. The Flyers came out firing in the first and saw three of their early chances find the goal post but the game went scoreless into the second.
After the Stampeders opened the scoring before the second period was seven minutes old, the Flyers tied it up with just over seven minutes left in the period. Leading the Winkler rush into the Stamps’ zone, Colton Friesen sent a pass across the ice to Erik Dahl who sent a shot off the pads of Merek Pipes. The rebound came right out into the slot where Colton Harder picked it up and scored his second goal of the season to tie the game 1-1.
It didn’t take the Stampeders long to regain the lead as a home town bounce just over a minute later put the home side back in front 2-1.
The Flyers would tie the game again early in the third period on a sensational goal by rookie forward Josh Kagan. After carrying the puck into the attacking zone, Kagan pulled the puck through the legs of a Stampeder defenseman and wired a shot into the far side corner of the net evening the score at two goals a piece. Drake Burgin and Collin Caulfield assisted on Kagan’s ninth of the season and fourth in his last six games.
However, the game would not stay tied for long as Swan Valley moved back in front just 11 seconds later on a goal by leading scorer Josh Tripp.
The Flyers continued to get their chances the rest of the way but goaltender Merek Pipes kept his team in the lead all the way to the final buzzer.
After missing the last 10 games due to injury, Britt League was back between the pipes for the Flyers and had a solid game making 29 saves. The Stampeders outshot the Flyers 32-27 overall.
The Flyers will travel to Waywayseecappo on Sunday for their final game of the weekend. The Flyers lead the Wolverines by just two points for the final playoff spot. Puck drop at the Waywayseecappo Arena is 6pm with Matt Friesen’s pregame show on Country 88 and online at www.pembinavalleyonline.com getting underway at 5:55pm.