The Winkler Flyers got past the Winnipeg Blues 4-3 in overtime on Tuesday night thanks to a thrilling come from behind finish, increasing their point streak to seven games. Griffin Leonard tied the game with just 21 seconds left in regulation, and Drake Burgin scored the game winner 19 seconds into overtime to move the Orange and Black into fourth place in the MJHL Standings.
Back at home after spending the weekend on the road, the Flyers looked to keep their recent hot play going having gone 5-0-1 over their last six games. The Flyers two previous games against Winnipeg had both been tight affairs, with both games being decided in overtime or a shoot-out. The third meeting of the year would be no different.
Winnipeg struck first on the man-advantage when defenseman Griffin Chwaliboga’s point shot beat a screened Britt League just over six minutes into the game. The Flyers would get that one back before intermission when Jesse Korytko skated the puck off the wall and scored his fifth of the season to pull Winkler even through 20 minutes.
Winkler then took the lead with 4:27 left in the second period thanks to a slick tip in goal from Jayden McCarthy on the power-play. Collin Caulfield and Josh Kagan both assisted on McCarthy’s fourth of the year. Outshooting the Blues 24-20 through 40 minutes, the Flyers carried their one goal lead into the third.
However, the Blues would rally for the next two goals in the third, tying the game just before the midway point of the period, and then taking a 3-2 lead with just 2:21 left on the clock.
Late in regulation, trailing by one and with their goaltender on the bench in favour of the extra attacker, the home crowd was in for some late game heroics. With the clock ticking down and the Flyers buzzing in the Winnipeg zone, the puck kicked out to defenseman Drake Burgin who let a shot go towards the net. After collecting the rebound, second year forward Griffin Leonard fired a shot into off the inside of the post and in to tie the game 3-3 with just 21 seconds left in regulation. Eric Fawkes also assisted on Leonard’s team leading seventh of the season and third goal in his last three games.
Having already increased their point streak to seven games, it did not take the Flyers long to pick up the extra point in overtime. Just 19 seconds into the extra frame, Leonard swung the puck around the Winnipeg net and spotted Drake Burgin coming in from the point and the rookie defenseman picked the top corner, scoring his third of the year and giving Winkler the 4-3 victory.
Britt League made his third straight start and had another solid game making 25 saves. Winkler outshot Winnipeg 39-28 overall. The Flyers were 1-for-5 on the power-play and 6-for-7 on the penalty-kill.
The Flyers (9-5-2), who are now in fourth place in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League Standings will hit the road this weekend for three games in three nights, beginning Friday night in Dauphin. All three games this weekend (Friday @ Dauphin, Saturday @ Virden, Sunday @ Waywayseecappo) can be heard live with Matt Friesen on Country 88 and www.pembinavalleyonline.com getting underway five minutes prior to game time. You can also watch all three games with a subscription to www.hockeytv.com