Rookie Goaltender Cole Weaver stopped all 21 shots he faced as the Winkler Flyers shutout the Steelers in Selkirk 6-0 on Sunday afternoon. The Flyers scored twice in the first six minutes of all three periods to pick up their second win in a row.
On the heals of a 7-3 win in Neepawa on Friday night, the Flyers made the trip to Selkirk for their first meeting of the season against the Steelers. Entering play, the Flyers trailed the Steelers by two points in the MJHL Standings, and a win would pull Winkler even, despite having played one fewer game.
Winkler came out of the gate flying in their first matinee of the year and scored the game’s first goal just 3:48 into the contest. In the midst of a goal mouth scramble, the puck kicked out to defenseman Lawson McDonald who buried his first of the season, giving Winkler the early 1-0 lead.
Nearly two minutes later, the Flyers doubled their lead thanks to Matt Christian’s third of the season on the power-play. Scott Gall and Coltyn Bates drew the assists. Outshooting the Steelers 13-5, the Flyers took their two goal lead into the first intermission.
The second period belonged to the Flyers as well and they started the middle frame with two more goals in the opening three minutes. The first came from leading scorer Scott Gall who took the pass from Coltyn Bates on the left side of the ice, and snapped it top corner for his team leading eighth of the year. A minute and a half later, Braden Billaney scored off a rebound to make the score 4-0 for Winkler with his fourth of the year.
The Flyers had a number of chances to add to their lead on the power-play in the second, but failed to do so. Winkler recorded 24 more shots in the second, and allowed only four and led 37-9 on the shot clock through 40 minutes.
The third period started with two more Flyers goals and the lead was up to 6-0. Before the two minute mark, Will Blake dropped the puck back to defenseman Tyler Lindstrom who scored his first of the year to give Winkler a 5-0 lead. Then 40 seconds later, Gino Lucia, who also assisted on Lindstrom’s goal, assisted on Blake’s third of the season to give the Flyers a six goal lead.
That would be all the offense needed as goaltender Cole Weaver stopped all 12 shots he faced in the third and all 21 he faced in the hockey game to earn his first Manitoba Junior Hockey League shutout. The Flyers defense held the Steelers at bay all game long, holding their opponents to nine shots against in the first 40 minutes and not surrendering a single shot until the seven minute mark of the first. Winkler outshot the Steelers 46-21 overall.
Winkler was 1-for-4 on the power-play and 3-for-3 on the penalty-kill. The Flyers are now 6-1 on the road, and 7-0 when they score the first goal of the game.
The Flyers (7-3) will now return home to begin a three game home stand, Tuesday night against the Portage Terriers. Game time at the Winkler Recreation Complex is 7:30pm with advance tickets available at the Winkler Coop Gas Bar.
GREAT CANADIAN OIL CHANGE THREE STARS
1st Star – G Cole Weaver (Winkler)
2nd Star – D Lawson McDonald (Winkler)
3rd Star – F Will Blake (Winkler)