The Winkler Flyers 2018-2019 season came to an end on Saturday night with a 7-2 loss to the first place Portage Terriers. Jayden McCarthy and Connor Beebe scored the goals for Winkler who kept the game close through the first half only to see the Terriers open it up late in the second.
Hitting the road for the final time this season, the Flyers made their way to Stride Place in Portage to take on the league leading Terriers. The Terriers opened the scoring before the game was three minutes old but the Flyers were quick to get that one right back.
Just 90 seconds after falling behind 1-0, Garrett Kuklica sent a shot off the back boards that kicked right out to Connor Beebe in the slot. The Flyers’ Captain then passed it across to goal mouth to Jayden McCarthy who scored his 12th of the season to tie the game 1-1. The Terriers scored a short-handed goal later in the period and the Flyers trailed 2-1 after 20 minutes.
Through the first half of the second period the game remained close as both teams traded chances but held tight defensively. Then with just over seven minutes left in the period, the Terriers scored the first of three goals in the period and took a 5-1 lead into the third.
After Portage added another one early in the third period, Connor Beebe scored for the Flyers to cut the Terriers’ lead to 6-2. Colton Harder and Marcus Dewey assisted on Beebe’s sixth of the year. It was also Dewey’s first ever MJHL point in his second game with Winkler. The Terriers added another one later in the period and would go on to win the game 7-2.
Riley Morgan played the bulk of the game for Winkler. Call up goaltender Fraser Senebald also saw a few minutes of action in the third. Portage outshot Winkler 39-22. The Flyers finished the game 0-for-2 on the power-play and 1-for-1 on the penalty-kill.
The Flyers finished the season with a record of 23-32-5 and will miss the playoffs for the first time since their inaugural season in 1980-1981.
The Flyers organization would like to say a huge thank you to all of their billet families, bus drivers, volunteers, supporters and fans and look forward to bigger and brighter things in 2019-2020, which will be the Flyers 40th season in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League.