For the second straight night, the Winkler Flyers tied the game late and then won in extra time as Winkler earned their 35th win of the season in a 5-4 overtime win over the visiting Swan Valley Stampeders. Coming all the way back from a 4-1 deficit, Will Blake scored 1:24 into overtime to help the Flyers pick up their third straight victory at home.
After a thrilling come from behind shootout win over the Virden Oil Capitals on Saturday night, the Flyers played host to the Stampeders in their final meeting of the regular season. The two clubs had already met twice this month, with the Stampeders winning both meetings by tight one goal margins up in Swan River.
Winkler opened the scoring on the power-play just before the halfway point of the first, when Weiland Parrish took a cross ice pass from Matt Christian and buried his 24th of the season. Swan Valley recovered well and would score the next two goals, including one on a penalty shot and Winkler trailed 2-1 heading into the second period.
The Flyers struggled in the opening minutes of the second, allowing two more quick Stampeder goals and found themselves down 4-1 just over four minutes into the period. Winkler began to chip away with another goal on the man-advantage coming off the stick of Garrett Kuklica with 12:23 left before intermission. Will Blake and Brett Opperman assisted on Kuklica’s 5th of the year to cut Swan Valley’s lead to 4-2.
Winkler scored again just a few minutes later thanks to Griffin Leonard’s bank shot goal and the Flyers had made it a one goal game through two periods.
The Stampeders held on to their one goal advantage well into the third period, and just like they did in Saturday’s win over Virden, the Flyers used some late game heroics to force overtime and earn themselves at least a single point. With 1:44 left in regulation, the puck made its way from Coltyn Bates up to Mitch Dyck at the Stampeders’ blueline. Dyck’s shot on goal then deflected off the stick of Weiland Parrish who tied the game 4-4 with his second goal of the game, 25th of the season and 9th goal in his last eight games.
It did not take the Flyers long to take the extra point in the 3-on-3 overtime period as Parrish sent the pass down the left wing to Collin Caulfield who led Will Blake into the Swan Valley zone on a 2-on-1. Just 1:24 into the fourth period, Blake tipped in Caulfield’s cross crease pass into the net to win the game for Winkler.
Aaron Brunn earned his seventh win of the season in goal for Winkler making 39 saves. The Stampeders outshot the Flyers 43-38 overall. Winkler was 2-for-4 on the power-play and 5-for-5 on the penalty-kill. The Flyers have now scored seven power-play goals in their last five games.
The line of Matt Christian, Coltyn Bates and Weiland Parrish closed out the month of February with some pretty impressive statistics. Combined, the Flyers forwards wracked up 62 points in the Flyers 13 games played in February. Bates and Christian also increased their point streaks to eight games on Sunday. Mitch Dyck is also riding a five game point streak.
Winkler (35-24-0) remains tied for fourth place in the MJHL Standings with the OCN Blizzard with just one regular season game left. The Flyers will host the Steinbach Pistons on Friday, March 2nd to close out the regular season. Puck drop at the Winkler Rec Complex is 7:30pm. Prior to the game, the Flyers will present their Team Year End Awards.
* SUNDAY'S 50-50 WINNING TICKET NUMBER FOR $340 WAS "C-484301"
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GREAT CANADIAN OIL CHANGE THREE STARS
1ST STAR – F WEILAND PARRISH (WINKLER)
2ND STAR – F WILL BLAKE (WINKLER)
3RD STAR – F KEATON JAMESON (SWAN VALLEY)