The Winkler Flyers earned themselves a point in a come from behind 5-4 shootout loss in Selkirk on Sunday night. Trailing 4-1 through 40 minutes of play, despite outshooting the Steelers 41-23, the Flyers rallied for three goals in the third to get the game to overtime and secure themselves at least a single point.
Playing their first game of 2016, the Flyers were looking to snap a two game road losing streak. This was the third meeting of the season between the two rivals, with the home team winning the first two times.
The Flyers, who spent much of the game in the offensive zone, drew first blood in the opening period scoring the game’s first goal for the eighth time in their last 10 outings. Just over seven minutes into the game, Zak Hicks let a point shot go on the power-play that trickled between the legs of goaltender Hayden Dola. Right on the door step was Tristan Keck who tapped in his 22nd goal of the year, to give the Flyers a 1-0 lead. Kurt Sonne also assisted on the goal.
However, just over a minute and a half later the Steelers scored a power-play goal of their own when Ty Kraus beat Nathan Warren during a goal mouth scramble. Selkirk would take the lead later in the period thanks to a nice tip-in goal from Riley Derlago, and the home side took their one goal advantage into the break.
The second period belonged to the Flyers in every way except in the goal scoring column. Winkler spent the vast majority of the period in the Steelers zone and peppered netminder Hayden Dola with 23 shots but failed to get any of them across the line.
Selkirk took advantage of some Winkler mistakes and added two more goals in the second. First, Jake Dudar capitalized on a Flyers’ turnover at the blue line and scored the Steelers third goal with just over six minutes left in the frame. Then with just over a minute left, Ezra Hall scored from just inside the blueline to give Selkirk a 4-1 lead through 40 minutes, despite being outshot 41-23 by Winkler.
Winkler continued to generate offensive chances in the third and would finally be rewarded with around eight minutes left on the clock. Coltyn Bates deposited a rebound with 7:57 remaining and the Steelers’ lead was cut to 4-2. Scott Gall and Nathan Karlowsky assisted on Bates’ 6th of the year, and first since November 10th.
With time ticking away, the Flyers needed to score two more times to get at least a point. With 5:40 left to play, Jordy Williamson got the puck to Jeff Michiels in the slot, and he beat Dola through the 5-hole to bring Winkler to within a goal. Thomas Mansbridge also assisted on Michiels’ 11th of the season.
The Flyers would then get the equalizer with 2:41 to go in the third. After a number of shifts of constant pressure around the Selkirk net. Lawson McDonald came in from the blueline and scored his third of the year with Williamson and Michiels assisting and the Flyers had come all the way back to tie the game up at four.
Winkler had a few chances to win the game in regulation, but Hayden Dola, who had frustrated the Flyers’ shooters all game long, would get his team into overtime. Both teams had their chances in overtime but a shootout was needed to decide things.
The shootout was anti-climactic for Winkler, as both Steelers shooters scored and both Winkler shooters missed and the contest was over rather quickly and Selkirk would get the extra point and the 5-4 shootout victory.
Nathan Warren allowed four goals on 33 shots in the game, seeing his record fall to 3-2 as a Flyer. Winkler dominated the shot clock, outshooting Selkirk 59-33 overall. Winkler went 1-for-5 on the power-play and 2-for-3 on the penalty-kill.
Winkler (26-7-3) will continue their five game road swing, Thursday night in OCN as part of a three games in three nights northern road trip. Following their game against the Blizzard (Thursday, Jan 7th @ 7pm), the Flyers will travel to Waywayseecappo (Friday, Jan 8th @ 7:30pm) and Virden (Saturday, Jan 9th @ 7:30pm). All three games can be heard on Country 88.9FM and online at www.pembinavalleyonline.com with Matt Friesen’s pregame show getting underway five minutes prior to game time.
GREAT CANADIAN OIL CHANGE THREE STARS
1st Star – G Hayden Dola (Selkirk)
2nd Star – F Jordy Williamson (Winkler)
3rd Star – F Jeff Michiels (Winkler)
WINKLER CANVAS HARDEST WORKING FLYER
F – Coltyn Bates