The Winkler Flyers scored six unanswered goals, including four in the third period in a 6-2 win over the Blizzard in OCN. Playing the middle game of their three game weekend road trip, the Orange and Black outshot the Blizzard 48-11 on their way to their 23rd win of the season.
A night after getting past the Swan Valley Stampeders in their road trip opener, the Flyers made the trip up to the Gordon Lathlin Memorial Centre for the first of two straight games against their rivals from the north.
The Flyers took it to the Blizzard right from the opening faceoff and would outshoot their opponent 19-6 in the opening period, but unfortunately for the Flyers, the Blizzard would score the only goal of the first period on a breakaway in the final minute.
OCN then doubled their lead to 2-0 in the opening minute of the second and the Flyers would be forced to play from behind. Dominating the Blizzard in every way except on the scoreboard, the Flyers started to turn things around in the moments to follow. Just 49 seconds after the second OCN goal, the puck made its way to Drake Burgin who sent his shot off the inside of the far post and in to cut the Blizzard lead to 2-1. Jayden McCarthy and Sulivan Shortreed assisted on Burgin's fifth goal of the season.
The Flyers continued to pepper OCN netminder Zack Cloutier with even more shots in the middle frame and managed to get another one of their 23 shots in the period to find the back of the net. With 6:30 left before intermission, Carson Pawlenchuk cashed in a rebound from Nathan Poolman's point shot and the game was now tied 2-2. Jackson Arpin also assisted on Pawlenchuk's seventh of the year. With the Flyers outshooting the Blizzard 42-8, the game went tied into the final 20 minutes.
The game finally broke open for Winkler in the third and it started with Grady Lane's breakaway goal midway through the period. From there, Sulivan Shortreed, Bryce Krauter and Ian Tookenay would all score in just over six minutes time to put the Flyers ahead by a score of 6-2. Shortreed finished the night with three points.
Dylan Meilun earned the win in goal as the Flyers outshot the Blizzard 48-11 overall. Winkler went 0-for-5 on the power-play and 2-for-2 on the penalty-kill.
The Flyers will try for the weekend sweep when they meet the Blizzard again on Sunday evening. Puck drop at the Gordon Lathlin Memorial Centre is 6pm with Matt Friesen's pregame show live on Country 88.9FM and online at www.pembinavalleyonline.com getting underway at 5:55pm. You can also watch the game with a subscription to www.hockeytv.com.
The Flyers (23-10-4) are now in a third place tie with the Swan Valley Stampeders with two games in hand. At 23 wins, the Flyers have also tied their entire win total from a season ago when they finished with a record of 23-32-5.