Cam Whyte scored twice, including the game winner with 2:15 left in the third period to lift the Winkler Flyers to a 3-2 win over the Blizzard in OCN. Goaltender Nathan Warren made 41 saves as the Orange and Black kicked off their weekend road trip with a big come from behind victory.
Playing their first game since defeating the Winnipeg Blues in a shootout this past Sunday, the Flyers made the trip up to OCN to play the Blizzard for the fifth time this season. In their four previous meetings, the Flyers won three times, with all three victories coming at home.
The Blizzard scored first, late in the first period when Jeremy Dumont beat a screened Nathan Warren with 2:02 to play in the opening frame. The Flyers rough first period could have been even worse if it weren’t for their goaltender. The Blizzard outshot Winkler 19-7 in the first and led 1-0 heading into the second.
The Flyers tied the game early in the second when Cam Whyte carried the puck over the OCN line and blasted a slap shot over the shoulder of Blizzard netminder Emiliem Boily for his team leading 20th of the year. Whyte’s goal was unassisted and drew the Flyers even 1-1 just 1:48 into the period.
OCN regained the lead nearly 10 minutes later thanks to Devin Muir’s ninth of the year. Not wanting to begin the third period down by a goal, the Flyers pushed for the equalizer in the final stages of the second. With just over a minute left in the period, Jeff Michiels carried the puck around the OCN net and tried the jam in the wrap around. The puck rolled off his stick and travelled through the crease to Jordan Williamson who scored his 10th to tie the game 2-2. Kayden Jarvis also assisted on the goal that came with 1:11 left on the clock.
So far this season, the Flyers have been tied with their opponent five times after 40 minutes, and all five times the Flyers ended up winning the game.
The two clubs traded chances in the third with both teams coming close to taking the lead. Winkler finally took the lead for the first time in the game on a great shift from Cam Whyte, Tristan Keck and Kurt Sonne. The three forwards buzzed in the OCN zone with all three getting their cracks at it. After Keck had his opportunity stopped by the OCN goaltender, Cam Whyte skated into the rebound and picked the bottom corner to give the Flyers a 3-2 lead with just 2:15 to play in regulation. The goal was Whyte’s second of the game and 21st of the year.
Nathan Warren and the rest of the Flyers defense clamped down and played well to the final buzzer to pick up two points and their 23rd victory of the season.
Warren made 41 saves in his second straight win for Winkler. The Blizzard outshot the Flyers 43-30 overall. Both teams were 0-for-1 on the power-play.
The Flyers (23-5-2) will travel to Swan River to face the Swan Valley Stampeders (13-15-5) on Saturday night. Puck drop at the Swan River Centennial Arena is 7:30pm with Matt Friesen’s pregame show getting underway on Country 88.9FM and online at www.pembinavalleyonline.com at 7:25pm.
Great Canadian Oil Change Three Stars
1st Star – F Cam Whyte (Winkler)
2nd Star – G Nathan Warren (Winkler)
3rd Star – F Devin Muir (OCN)
Winkler Canvas Hardest Working Flyer
F Coltyn Bates