The Winkler Flyers managed only a single point in a 3-2 shootout loss to the visiting Selkirk Steelers on Friday night, in the middle game of their three game homestand. The Flyers fired nearly 50 shots on goal and dominated much of the game only to see too many of their chance fail to produce results.
Playing their first game of 2015, the Flyers welcomed the Steelers looking for their second win in a row. The Flyers had three wins and a loss in their previous four games against their rivals from Selkirk.
The Flyers opened the scoring at the tail end of the first period thanks to captain Patrice Wren. With 41 seconds left on the clock, Wren stripped a Steelers forward of the puck in front of the Flyers net and carried it down the ice. Near the top of the left faceoff circle, he snapped a wrist shot over the shoulder of goaltender Hayden Dola, scoring his 11th of the year and giving the Flyers a 1-0 lead.
Winkler continued to generate more scoring chances in the second period and had many great opportunities to add to their lead but failed to find the back of the net. The Flyers lead remained 1-0 through 40 minutes while outshooting Selkirk 29-22 after two periods.
With 7:52 to play in the third period, Steelers’ forward Justin Derlago snuck the puck through the legs of goaltender Dasan Sydora and the game was tied 1-1. The Flyers had several chances to take the lead back but it was Selkirk who took a 2-1 lead with just 1:18 to play in regulation.
Now trailing for the first time in the hockey game, the Flyers pulled their goaltender with a faceoff coming up deep in Selkirk territory in the final 30 seconds of the period. After winning the faceoff, Patrice Wren got the puck to Tristan Keck on the right wing wall and the league’s leading goal scorer wired a shot into the top corner pulling Winkler even with just 11 seconds to play. It was Keck’s 33rd goal of the season.
The Flyers had their chances to finish off the Steelers in overtime but the contest remained 2-2 through 65 minutes of play. The shootout was quick, as both Selkirk shooters would find the back of the net while Scott Gall and Patrice Wren were either stopped by the goaltender or the goal post and the Steelers would get the extra point and the 3-2 victory.
Dasan Sydora had another strong game in goal for Winkler making 38 saves while seeing his record slip to (19-5-3). The Red Deer native made many key stops in the game, including a couple of big saves on Selkirk breakaways. Winkler outshot Selkirk 49-40 through 65 minutes of play. The Flyers went 0-for-5 on the power-play and 2-for-2 on the penalty-kill.
The Flyers (23-10-7) move into sole possession of second place in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League with the point and have now earned at least a point in their last four games. Winkler will host the Neepawa Natives (10-26-2) on Tuesday, January 6th in their next game. It will be Winkler’s final home game until February 1st against Virden thanks to the Provincial Women’s Curling Championship being played in Winkler later in the month.