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WINKLER BACK IN THE WIN COLUMN AFTER SOLID EFFORT IN WAYWAY

The Winkler Flyers snapped a four game winless streak on Friday night with a 3-1 victory in Waywayseecappo. Tristan Keck’s 40th goal of the season proved to be the game winner as the Orange and Black picked up their 26th win of the year.

Heading back on the road after playing the last two games at home, the Flyers were hoping to turn their recent hard work into a win in their final regular season game against the Wolverines. The Flyers had four wins in their previous five games against Wayway.

The Flyers jumped on the scoreboard right away as Cam Whyte picked the far corner just 1:04 into the hockey game, giving Winkler an early 1-0 lead. Patrice Wren and Scott Gall assisted on Whyte’s 21st goal of the season. Despite some chances to increase their lead, the Flyers took their one goal advantage into the first intermission.

Winkler added to their lead in the second period thanks to their sixth short-handed goal of the season. With 8:56 to play in the period, the puck split the Wolverines defense at the Flyers’ blueline and trickled into the neutral zone. Blowing past the Wayway defenders, Tristan Keck went in alone and snapped home his 40th goal of the season, giving his club a 2-0 lead.

Both clubs got into some penalty trouble a few minutes later. With just over five minutes to play in the second, Reid Burak was handed a five minute boarding penalty and together with Wayway defenseman Braden Pettinger, were given fighting majors and game misconducts. The Wolverines then took a penalty of their own moments later. Playing 4-on-4, Wayway cut Winkler’s lead to 2-1 with 3:36 to play before intermission.

Being outshot 22-19 through two periods, the Flyers carried a 2-1 lead into the third. Entering play, Winkler had a record of 19-0-4 when leading after 40 minutes.

Wolverines goaltender Mitch Wiebe made a number of key stops in the final period, preventing the Flyers from adding some insurance. Then with Wiebe on the bench in favor of the extra attacker, Scott Gall intercepted the puck at the Winkler blue line and hit the back of the empty Wayway net, giving Winkler a 3-1 lead with just 44 seconds to play. It was the Morden native’s 17th of the season.

Dasan Sydora had another strong game, making 24 saves in his 22nd win of the season. Winkler outshot Wayway 30-25 in the game, 11-3 in the third period alone. Both teams were 0-for-3 on the power-play.

The Flyers (26-14-10) next game will be against the Natives when they travel to Neepawa (13-35-2) on Saturday night. You can catch the game live on Country 88.9FM and online at www.pembinavalleyonline.com with Matt Friesen’s pregame show at 7:25pm.

NOTE: Goaltender Brett Kozak of the Neepawa Tigers High School Hockey team backed up on Friday night due to Goalie Devon Fordyce missing the game due to illness.