The Orange and Black doubled up the visiting Virden Oil Capitals 6-3 on Saturday night, winning their second game in as many nights. After snapping their five game winless streak against Dauphin on Friday, Winkler’s offense was in fine form for the second straight outing.
Entering play on Saturday night, the third place Flyers led the fourth place Oil Caps by seven points in the standings. The two teams had split their first two meetings of the season, with the Oil Capitals beating the Flyers 4-3 in their most recent meeting on January 9th in Virden.
Winkler opened the scoring just before the six minute mark of the first period thanks to Tristan Keck’s goal from the top of the crease. Kurt Sonne and Kayden Jarvis assisted on Keck’s first of the game. With 4:20 remaining in the period, Cam Whyte found Thomas Mansbridge alone in front of the net and the 20 year old forward snapped home his 12th to give Winkler a 2-0 lead. Tristan Keck also assisted on the goal.
The Flyers added to their lead again two minutes later on the power-play when Kayden Jarvis tipped in his 7th and the Flyers led 3-0 with 2:20 to play in the opening frame. Lawson McDonald and Scott Gall assisted. The Oil Caps would score a power-play goal of their own when Ben Dalke scored with 16 seconds left and the Flyers took their 3-1 lead into the second.
Drake Bodie pulled Virden to within a goal, 4:45 into the middle period and the visitors were right back in it. The Flyers took the momentum back right at the tail end of the period with their fourth goal of the game. With 1.8 seconds left on the clock and just after a Flyers power-play had come to an end, Zak Hicks scored his third goal in two games to make the score 4-2 for Winkler. Cam Whyte and Connor Hamonic picked up the assists on Hicks’ 14th of the season.
Winkler put the game to bed with two more goals in the first nine minutes of the third. The first one came off the stick of Jordy Williamson, who snapped a personal 10 game goalless drought with his 11th of the year just over four minutes into the final period. Nico Labossiere and Mitch Dyck drew the assists.
With 11:41 to play in regulation, Cam Whyte and Tyler Jubenvill assisted on Tristan Keck’s second of the game and 27th of the year to give Winkler a 6-2 lead. The Oil Caps added their third of the game with just over nine minutes to go and Winkler’s lead had been trimmed to 6-3.
That would be as close as Virden would come as the Flyers would skate away with the three goal victory, pushing themselves nine points ahead of Virden in the standings.
Nathan Warren (4-3-1) was back between the pipes for Winkler and made 27 saves in the win. Winkler outshot Virden 38-30 overall. Winkler went 1-for-5 on the power-play and 1-for-2 on the penalty-kill. It was quite the weekend for the line of Tristan Keck, Cam Whyte and Thomas Mansbridge who wracked up 16 points during Winkler’s wins over Dauphin and Virden. Keck also increased his point streak to six games.
The Flyers (28-10-3) will enjoy the next five days off before hosting the Swan Valley Stampeders (18-18-5) on Friday, January 22nd. Puck drop at the Winkler Recreation Complex is 7:30pm. Winkler has won all three meetings against Swan Valley this season.
GREAT CANADIAN OIL CHANGE THREE STARS
1st Star – F Tristan Keck (Winkler)
2nd Star – F Cam Whyte (Winkler)
3rd Star – F Jordan Williamson (Winkler)