Flyers’ netminder Dorrin Luding was the star of the game for the Orange and Black on Wednesday night in a 5-2 loss to the defending champion Portage Terriers. Being out played and outshot for much of the night, the Flyers had a chance for the first 54 minutes of the game thanks in large part to the play of their goaltender.
With both teams coming off losses to the Waywayseecappo Wolverines on the weekend, the Flyers and Terriers met for the first time since October and the first time of the season in Portage. The previous two meetings were tight games which saw the Terriers come out on top both times.
Portage dominated play for the majority of the first and opened the scoring on the power-play just past the halfway point of period. Dorrin Luding kept the game close with a number of huge saves and his offense would reward him for it later in the period. With just over three minutes left before intermission, Eric Fawkes kept the play alive in the Terriers’ zone before sending a pass up to the point to Nathan Poolman. The puck then went to defenseman Garrett Szeremley (3) who fired a shot off the inside of the post and in to tie the game 1-1.
Early in the middle period, the Flyers took the lead when Bryce Krauter’s (7) shot deflected off the shoulder of Portage goaltender Nathan Moore and in to move Winkler in front 2-1. That lead was short lived though as the Terriers tied the game just over a minute and a half later with their second power-play goal of the night.
With the game still tied 2-2 late into regulation, and the Terriers dominating on the shot clock, the Portage offense finally broke through and scored two goals in under a minute to take a 4-2 lead with 6:10 left on the clock. An empty net goal would seal the 5-2 victory.
Luding did all he could, finishing the night with 27 saves on the 31 shots he faced. Portage outshot Winkler 32-12 overall. Winkler went 0-for-4 on the power-play and 2-for-4 on the penalty-kill.
The Flyers (19-10-4) will return home for a pair of games before the Christmas break. Winkler will host the Steinbach Pistons on Saturday night and will then face the Winnipeg Blues on Sunday. Puck drop both nights is 7:30pm.