Jeff Michiels led the way with a goal and an assist as the Winkler Flyers edged the Winnipeg Blues 5-4 in the rematch of Tuesday night’s MJHL preseason opener in Winkler. Playing their first game on the road, the Orange and Black built up a nice lead and hung on for their first win of the exhibition season.
After losing 3-2 in overtime to the visiting Blues the night before at home, the two teams met again at the MTS Ice Plex in Winnipeg. The players dressed for both clubs were still fairly young with a few more veterans sprinkled in.
The Flyers got off to a quick start when Gino Lucia scored his second of the preseason just 5:09 into the game. Braden Billaney drew the lone assist. Winkler took their 1-0 lead into the second period with the Blues outshooting the Flyers 13-12 through 20 minutes.
With 6:10 left in the middle period, Jeff Michiels took a nice pass from Matt Christian, cut across the crease and found the back of the net to give Winkler a two goal lead. Austin Moser picked up the second assist.
The Blues cut Winkler’s lead in half with their first of the game, 45 seconds into the third period. However, Winkler was quick to get that one back with two more goals in the next two and a half minutes. First it was Justin Paulson and Dionne Demke assisting on Tim Kuivinen’s goal, 1:21 into the period. Ninety six seconds later, Kyle Lang scored from Winkler own Owen Wiebe and the Flyers’ lead had grown to 4-1.
Winkler surrendered a goal just before the seven minute mark of the period but still led by a count of 4-2. Just past the midway point of the third, the Flyers went on the power-play and scored for the fifth time in the game. Tyler Lindstrom slapped home his first from Jeff Michiels and Will Blake.
Winnipeg rallied late with a pair of goals with around six minutes to play in regulation, but the Flyers would hang on for the win.
Eighteen year old Mason Swerdyliak made 32 saves in the win as the Flyers outshot Winnipeg 38-36 overall.
The Flyers (1-0-1) will host the Neepawa Natives on Friday, September 9th in their third Manitoba Junior Hockey League preseason game. Puck drop at the Winkler Recreation Comlex is 7:30pm. Admission is $5 at the door.