Drake Burgin scored just 68 seconds into overtime to help the Winkler Flyers earn a 3-2, come from behind win over the Steelers in Selkirk on Friday night. After defenseman Nathan Poolman tied the game with just under two minutes left in regulation, the Orange and Black managed to pick up two very important points while holding on to second place in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League Standings.
After a seven day lay off, the Flyers were back in action on Friday night starting a stretch of four games in five days. The Flyers and Steelers had split their first two meetings of the year with the home team coming out on top both times. Both clubs entered play on Friday night as two of the hottest teams in the league. The Flyers had a 9-0-1 record in their last 10 games, while the Steelers had won five in a row.
Selkirk opened the scoring just over six minutes into the game when Cole Wigestrand scored on the power-play, giving the home side a 1-0 lead. One of the stories of the game was the play of Selkirk netminder Austin Deboer, who turned aside many high quality Winkler chances and kept his team in the lead through 20 minutes.
Winkler pulled even just over seven minutes into the second when Ian Tookenay’s shot glanced off the shin of Jayden McCarthy and the Morris native had tied the game with his 27th goal of the season. However, the Steelers would regain their one goal lead with their second power-play goal in the first five minutes of the third period.
For the rest of the third period, the Flyers went hunting for the equalizer and with 1:47 left on the clock they found it. Just moments after killing off a penalty, Jayden McCarthy led Nathan Poolman into the attacking zone on a 2-on-1. After waiting for the Steeler defenseman to commit, McCarthy snapped a pass over to the left wing side to Poolman who fired his shot into the back of the net to tie the game 2-2. It was Poolman’s ninth goal of the season and 11th point in his last nine games.
Once the game got to overtime and both teams were awarded a single point, the Flyers took over and finished it off with just over a minute gone in the fourth period. Charging the net, looking for a rebound from Jayden McCarthy’s wrist shot, defenseman Drake Burgin shovelled the game winner past the goal line to give Winkler the extra point and the 3-2 win. Jayden McCarthy finished the game with three points, and has now accounted for 14 points as part of an eight game point streak.
Rookie netminder Dylan Meilun earned his third straight win in goal for Winkler and increased his overall record to 9-3-1. Winkler outshot Selkirk 39-35 overall. Four of the Flyers’ last five games have now been decided in overtime or a shootout.
The Flyers (29-10-5) remain in second place in the MJHL Standings, one point ahead of the third place Portage Terriers and now just three points behind the first place Steinbach Pistons. Winkler will now return home for their next five games, starting with three games in three days on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. All three games against Virden, Portage and Neepawa will start at 7:30pm and can be streamed live on www.hockeytv.com
NOTES: Sulivan Shortreed and Alex Cattani missed Friday’s game due to illness, while Mateo Albinati remained out due to injury. His return to the lineup is expected soon. Forward Griffin Leonard left Friday’s game in the second period with an injury and will be re-assessed in the coming days.