The Winkler Flyers are back in the win column after a 3-2 victory over the Winnipeg Blues on Tuesday night. Cam Whyte and Jordan Williamson scored goals five minutes apart in the third period to help the Flyers pick up their first regular season win at home.
After dropping their home opener to Steinbach on Saturday as part of a weekend split with the Pistons, the Flyers welcomed the 2-0 Winnipeg Blues in their second straight game at home. Rookie goaltender Clarke Flegel got the call between the pipes for the Flyers after Ryan Larochelle got the nod for the first two games of the season.
The Flyers drew first blood on the power-play late in the first period. After a faceoff win by Kayden Jarvis, Tristan Keck slid the puck up to the point for Zak Hicks who hammered home his third of the season putting Winkler ahead 1-0 with 6:42 to go in the first. The Flyers took their one goal lead into the first intermission with the shot clock tied 10-10.
Winkler seemed to carry the play in the second period but the Blues would tie the game with under five minutes to go before intermission. Winnipeg caught a break when Taeron Lewis intercepted a clearing pass from goaltender Clarke Flegel and deposited it into the open Flyers’ net, tying the game at one. The two teams skated into the third period tied 1-1 with the Flyers outshooting the Blues 21-17 through 40 minutes.
Still tied past the halfway point of the third period, the Flyers went back in front with a pair of big goals. With 7:48 left in the third period, Tristan Keck led the Flyers into the Blues zone down the left wing side with Cam Whyte racing to his right. After Keck jumped past the Winnipeg defender, he swung a pass over to Whyte who fired a shot off the inside of the far post and in, giving Winkler a 2-1 lead. Captain Connor Hamonic drew the second assist on Whyte’s second of the year.
Just moments after a successful penalty-kill by the Flyers, Jordan Williamson picked up a loose puck in the neutral zone and scored on the ensuing breakaway, pushing Winkler ahead by a score of 3-1 with 2:46 left in regulation.
Winnipeg added their second goal with just five seconds left on the clock and the Flyers would hang on for the 3-2 victory.
Clarke Flegel earned his first win as a Flyer, making 21 saves in his regular season debut in Winkler. The Flyers outshot Winnipeg 32-23 overall. Winkler went 1-for-4 on the power-play and 3-for-3 on the penalty-kill.
The Flyers (2-1) will take on the Dauphin Kings (1-2) on Friday afternoon (4pm) at the Manitoba Junior Hockey League Showcase in Winnipeg. All eleven teams in the MJHL will play two games at the MTS Iceplex over the weekend. Winkler will also play the Neepawa Natives on Saturday (3pm). The next Flyers home game is Tuesday, October 6th against Steinbach.
GREAT CANADIAN OIL CHANGE THREE STARS
1st – Tristan Keck – Winkler – (2 assists)
2nd – Cam Whyte – Winkler – (1 goal)
3rd – Scott Parsons – Winnipeg – (29 saves)