A solid team effort allowed the Winkler Flyers to defeat the Thief River Falls Norskies 5-1 in their final game of the pre-season. The Flyers scored three goals in the first and twice more in the third to capture their third straight Goose Cup.
After a 5-2 win in Thief River Falls, Minnesota on Friday night, the exhibition Goose Cup series shifted back to Canadian soil. With Winkler playing their final exhibition home game in Morden, the Orange and Black turned to home town product Aaron Brunn who nearly picked up the shutout between the pipes in this one.
Winkler found the scoreboard early as Everett Bestland and Eric Fawkes picked up the assists on a goal by rookie Colton Friesen. The Flyers increased their lead later in the period with a pair of quick goals. The first one came on the power-play as Fawkes and Friesen found the score sheet again with assists on Trent Halfdanson’s second of the pre-season. Then just 55 seconds later, Altona native Colton Harder found the back of the net with Kyle Lang assisting and Winkler’s lead had grown to 3-0 with 4:22 left in the opening frame.
With Morden native Aaron Brunn staying perfect in goal for Winkler, the Flyers carried their three goal cushion into the third. Winkler rallied for two more goals in the opening five minutes of the period, as returning forwards Trent Halfdanson and Everett Bestland each earned their second points of the game with back to back markers.
Throughout the majority of the game, the Flyers had kept the Norskies’ offensive at bay but with just 42 seconds left in regulation, former Dauphin King forward Brett Piper snapped a shot past Brunn to cut Winkler’s lead to 5-1.
Despite that blemish on the scoreboard, the Flyers would skate away with a 5-1 victory and a sweep of the third annual two game Goose Cup series with Thief River Falls.
Brunn made 30 saves in the win as Winkler outshot the Norskies 42-31. The Flyers went 2-for-5 on the power-play and 7-for-7 on the penalty-kill.
The Flyers, who went 4-2 in their six pre-season games, will now finalize their 25 man roster ahead of their regular season home opener. The Flyers will host the Neepawa Natives on Friday, September 21st in their first game of the 2018-19 regular season. You can catch the game live on www.hockeytv.com.
The Flyers will also be holding a season opening kick off party at Mr. Mikes Steakhouse in Winkler on Wednesday, September 19th from 7-9pm. Come and meet the players, get autographs and enjoy many great food and drink specials. A number of great prizes will also be available.