Flyers’ defenseman Garrett Szeremley scored three times in a 5-4 win over the Virden Oil Capitals on Thursday night, helping the Orange and Black win for the ninth time in their last ten games. The Flyers got up 4-1 after 20 minutes and battled right to the finish while earning their 28th win of the season.
Just 48 hours after their thrilling overtime win over the first place Steinbach Pistons, the Flyers hit the road to face off against the Virden Oil Capitals for the second time in six days. The two teams entered the game with the two best offenses in the MJHL and both were on display at Tundra Oil & Gas Place on Thursday night. The four previous meetings were tight affairs with all four games being decided by a single goal.
Special teams was a big story line in the game, and the Flyers managed to hit the score board first when Griffin Leonard assisted on Ian Tookenay’s short-handed goal with just under six minutes left in the first period. The Flyers quickly added to their lead thanks to Garrett Szeremley’s goal just over minute later. Sulivan Shortreed and Jayden McCarthy assisted on the Morden native’s fifth of the season.
After the Oil Caps cut Winkler’s lead to 2-1, the Flyers added two more goals before intermission. The first one came on the power-play as Griffin Leonard got a piece of Jayden McCarthy’s shot from the top of the circle and Winkler was back in front by a pair. Drake Burgin earned his MJHL leading 38th assist on Leonard’s 23rd goal of the year. McCarthy’s two points in the period increased his point streak to seven games.
Then with 37 seconds left before intermission, Garrett Szeremley found the back of the net again from the point and Winkler carried a 4-1 lead into the break.
Virden came to play in the second period and trimmed Winkler’s lead to 4-2 on the power-play midway through the middle frame. A fortunate bounce a few minutes later led to another Oil Caps goal and the Flyers lead was down to one goal with two periods in the books.
Early in the final period, the Flyers got the insurance goal they were looking forward and once again it came off the stick of Garrett Szeremley, who fired home his third goal of the game from the Virden blueline to put Winkler in front 5-3. Nathan Poolman picked up his second assist of the game and Carson Pawlenchuk also factored in on the goal.
That goal would later prove to be the game winner as the Oil Capitals got back to within one with a short-handed goal of their own. Despite a late push by Virden, the Flyers would hold on to their 5-4 lead right until the final buzzer.
After recording just three points in his first 18 games as a Flyer, 20 year old Defenseman Garrett Szeremley has now recorded 14 points in his last 14 games. Assistant Captain Griffin Leonard recorded his fifth multi-point game in his last six outings and has accounted for 24 points in his last 14 games played.
Dorrin Luding earned his 20th win of the season between the pipes on Thursday night turning aside 20 shots. Since the middle of December, the Richmond, BC native has proven why he’s one of the top Goaltenders in the MJHL with a 9-1-1 record in his last 11 starts. Both teams finished the night with 25 shots on goal. Winkler went 1-for-3 on the power-play and 4-for-5 on the penalty-kill.
The Flyers (28-10-5) will continue their three game road trip Saturday night in Portage against the Terriers. The second place Flyers are three points in front of the third place Terriers in the league standings and now three points behind the first place Steinbach Pistons. Puck drop at Stride Place is 7:30pm with Matt Friesen’s pregame show getting underway on Country 88 and online at www.pembinavalleyonline.com at 7:25pm.
The Flyers are now 28-10-5 on the season, 16-5-2 on the road and 9-0-1 in their last 10 games.