The Winkler Flyers kept their stellar road play going on Monday afternoon, with a 6-3 win over the Steinbach Pistons. Back in action after a pair of wins in Dauphin and OCN on Friday and Saturday, the Flyers put the game away with three goals in the third period while improving their record away from home to 10-2.
Playing their third game in four days and fifth straight game away from the Winkler Recreation Complex, the Winkler Flyers made their way to Steinbach for a Remembrance Day matinee against a Pistons club that had lost just twice in regulation so far this season. The TG Smith Centre had not been a friendly place for the Flyers in recent history with the Orange and Black picking up just one regulation victory there in the last five years.
The Flyers got off to a good start and opened the scoring just over two minutes into the game as Jackson Arpin finished off a nice, cross ice pass from Cameron Critch for his first goal in the MJHL. Trent Sambrook also assisted on the goal. Despite allowing the Pistons to tie the game a few minutes later, the first period was a good one for Winkler as the game went into the first intermission knotted up 1-1.
The middle frame saw end to end action and three more goals. First it was the home side who moved in front 2-1 with 3:53 left on the clock. The Flyers were quick to respond and added two of their own before intermission. After rushing the puck down the right wing side, Griffin Leonard sent a pass out in front to defenseman Nathan Poolman who scored his third of the season to pull Winkler even 2-2. Not even a minute after that, Poolman went coast to coast before scoring his second of the game and Winkler was back in front 3-2.
Early in the third, Steinbach tied the game again due to some hard work in the offensive zone. The setback didn’t seem to phase the Flyers as they would retake the lead for good a few minutes later. Once again it was Griffin Leonard driving the puck into the attacking zone, feeding it over to Bryce Krauter who spotted Carson Pawlenchuk alone in the slot. After a nice move in front, Pawlenchuk sent a back hand shot into the top corner for his second goal in as many games.
Winkler added some insurance late in the period when Drake Burgin and Jayden McCarthy assisted on Sulivan Shortreed’s team leading 13th goal on the power-play to put Winkler in front 5-3 with 2:46 left in regulation. The Flyers took a penalty not long after which allowed Jayden McCarthy to score his 10th of the season, short-handed into the empty Steinbach net to give Winkler the 6-3 victory.
Dorrin Luding had one of his strongest games of the season in goal for Winkler making 33 saves as the Pistons outshot the Flyers 36-35. Winkler went 1-for-3 on the power-play and 2-for-2 on the penalty-kill.
The Flyers (13-6-1) will finish off their six game road trip in Winnipeg on Tuesday night. Puck drop at the Rink Training Centre in Winnipeg is 7:30pm with Matt Friesen’s pregame show live on Country 88 and online at www.pembinavalleyonline.com getting underway at 7:25pm. The Flyers are 1-1 in two previous games against the Blues this season.