The Winkler Flyers earned themselves a big 3-2 victory on the road on Sunday night, beating the Portage Terriers 3-2. Matt Christian, Weiland Parrish and Coltyn Bates recorded two points each to help the Orange and Black move back into the win column.
Back on the road after falling 3-2 to the visiting Virden Oil Capitals at home on Friday night, the Flyers took on the defending MJHL champs for the fifth time this season. The last meeting between the two clubs was right before the MJHL Christmas Break where the Flyers scored four unanswered goals in the third period and beat the Terriers 5-4 in a shootout.
Unlike their last meeting, it was the Flyers who got out to an early lead. Just over a minute into the game, Matt Christian would collect his 23rd goal of the season and sixth in his last five games to put Winkler on the board first. Coltyn Bates and Weiland Parrish assisted on the goal that increased Christian’s point streak to five games.
Before the halfway point of the period, the Flyers capitalized on some Portage penalty trouble and doubled their lead to 2-0. Moving the puck around the Terriers’ zone on a 5-on-3 power-play, Will Blake spotted Nolan McGuire in the slot and the Flyers’ Captain wired home his team leading 25th goal of the year and his league best 12th goal on the man advantage. Mitch Dyck, who continues to lead all Winkler defenders in points also assisted.
The second period picked up right where the first period ended as Weiland Parrish finished off a nice pass from Coltyn Bates to increase Winkler’s lead to three goals just 57 seconds into the period. Matt Christian also assisted on Parrish’s 14th of the season and second in as many games.
With 7:45 gone in the period, Portage began to chip away at the Flyers’ lead as rookie forward Joey Moffatt found a loose puck beside the net and beat Troy Martyniuk for the Terriers first goal of the game. Then with four minutes to go before intermission, the Terriers cut Winkler’s lead to 3-2 on the power-play. Overall, the Flyers continued to outplay the Terriers and took their one goal lead into the third while outshooting the home team 23-12.
The third period belonged to goaltender Troy Martyniuk and the Winkler defense and with a perfect 8-0 record when leading after 40 minute on the road, the Flyers would maintain their one goal lead until the final buzzer.
Martyniuk made 22 saves while earning his league leading 21st win of the season. Winkler outshot Portage 29-24 overall. The Flyers were 1-for-4 on the power-play and 2-for-3 on the penalty-kill.
The win improves the Flyers record to 27-16-0 which is good for fourth place in the MJHL Standings. The Flyers will host Selkirk on Tuesday night, leading the fifth place Steelers by two points in the standings. Puck drop at the Winkler Rec Complex is 7:30pm with advance tickets available at the Winkler Coop Gas Bar, Petro Canada Gas Bar or at the door prior to the game. You can also watch the game live on www.hockeytv.com.
Tuesday’s game is the last Flyers’ home game until February 9th.
GREAT CANADIAN OIL CHANGE THREE STARS
1ST STAR – F COLTYN BATES (WINKLER)
2ND STAR – F JOEY MOFFATT (PORTAGE)
3RD STAR – F WEILAND PARRISH (WINKLER)