The Winkler Flyers scored four second period goals in a 6-3 win over the visiting Swan Valley Stampeders. After losing their last two games, the Flyers got back on track with their 10th home ice victory and 15th win overall this season.
Hosting the Stampeders for the second time this season, the Winkler Flyers returned home looking to rebound after losing two of their three recent games on the road. Aided by an early power-play, the Stampeders jumped on the Flyers early on and with just over seven minutes gone in the game, Swan Valley scored first. It was the fifth time in their last six games that the Flyers trailed 1-0.
Just moments later, the Flyers earned a power-play of their own and would tie the game 1-1 with 10:56 left in the first. With Collin Caulfield and Will Blake moving the puck around the right side wall, Nolan McGuire received the pass behind the net and quickly tucked in his team leading 17th goal of the season.
Moving into the second period tied at one, the Flyers took over the game in the middle frame. Entering play on Saturday, the Flyers had dominated their opponents in the second period, outscoring them 28-11 in the middle frame alone. Winkler took a 2-1 lead early in the second when Matt Christian followed up on Coltyn Bates’ rebound and knifed a back handed shot over the blocker of Swan netminder Brett Evans for his 10th of the season. Caulfield drew the second assist.
Later in the period, Christian scored again to begin a stretch of three Winkler goals in less than four minutes. Just 81 seconds after the Flyers took their first lead of the game, Will Blake scored his fourth to push Winkler ahead by two. And just over a minute after that, Brody Moffatt carried the puck into the Swan Valley zone and ripped a shot into the top corner to give Winkler a 4-1 lead. Jacob Lacasse and Brady Pupp assisted on Moffatt’s fourth of the season and the Flyers carried their three goal lead into the third.
Early in the third, the Stampeders took advantage of some undisciplined play by the Flyers and scored two quick goals on the power-play, cutting Winkler’s lead to 5-3 with just over 18 minutes left in regulation.
The back breaker for Swan Valley came just minutes later when the Flyers regained their three goal lead with their league leading fifth short-handed goal of the year. After stripping the Stampeders’ defender of the puck at the Winkler blueline, Matt Christian led Coltyn Bates on a two-on-one into the attacking zone. After Christian saw his shot deflect up into the air, Bates was there to knock in his 10th to make the score 6-3 for Winkler.
Troy Martyniuk and the Winkler defense would finish it off from there as the Flyers would improve their record to 15-5 and move two points back of the first place Steinbach Pistons. Martyniuk made 20 saves while earning his league leading 11th win of the year. The Flyers outshot Swan Valley 33-23. Winkler went 1-for-5 on the power-play and 6-for-8 on the penalty-kill.
The Flyers (15-5) will continue their weekend homestand when they host the Neepawa Natives (9-10-2) on Sunday, November 12th. Puck drop at the Winkler Recreation Complex is 7:30pm with advance tickets available at the Winkler Coop Gas Bar, the Petro Canada Gas Bar, or at the door prior to the game. You can also video stream the game live on www.hockeytv.com
GREAT CANADIAN OIL CHANGE THREE STARS
1ST STAR – F MATT CHRISTIAN (WINKLER)
2ND STAR – F NOLAN McGUIRE (WINKLER)
3RD STAR – D COLLIN CAULFIELD (WINKLER)