The Winkler Flyers fired nearly 60 shots on goal in a 3-1 win over the Waywayseecappo Wolverines on Saturday night, earning their ninth win in their last 12 games and 28th victory overall this season.
A night after losing 5-4 in a shootout to the Wolverines, the Flyers were in search of a much better effort the second time around in Wayway. The Flyers came out of the gate strong and spent the first few minutes buzzing around the Wolverines’ net. Unfortunately for Winkler, the Wolverines would score first on their first shot on net just over four minutes into the game thanks to a lucky bounce in front of the goal.
Winkler kept pushing though, and tied the game just before the midway point of the period when Braden Billaney accepted a pass from Tanner Lewis and went in to score his 11th of the season. It was a good opening period by the Flyers who outshot the Wolverines 23-5 in the first 20 minute period.
The Flyers had their chances to take the lead in the second, but Wayway netminder Mackenzie Chalmers would frustrate Winkler’s shooters with 22 saves in the second period alone. Winkler and Wayway went into the third tied 1-1 with the Flyers leading 45-12 on the shot clock
With Chalmers seeming to have an answer for everything the Flyers were throwing at him, it would take a lucky bounce around the net to beat him. With 5:24 gone in the final frame, rookie forward Gino Lucia stole the puck behind the Wayway net and banked a shot off a leg in front to give the Flyers a 2-1 lead. It was Lucia’s 13th of the year and third in his last two games.
With six of their last seven games being decided by just a single goal, Winkler went looking for some insurance. And they got it with 9:20 left in the game. After another series of steady pressure by the Flyers, Tanner Lewis spotted leading scorer Scott Gall in the slot and the Morden native snapped a shot into the top corner to push Winkler ahead by two. It was Lewis’ second assist of the game and Gall’s team leading 22nd goal of the season.
Troy Martyniuk was good when called upon on Saturday night, making 21 saves while improving his record to 4-0-0 as a Flyer. Winkler outshot Wayway 58-22 in the game. The Flyers were 0-for-2 on the power-play and 1-for-1 on the penalty-kill.
The Flyers (28-10-2) will host the first place Steinbach Pistons on Tuesday, January 17th to begin a four game home stand. That game was originally scheduled for mid December but was postponed due to weather. Puck drop at the Winkler Rec Complex is 7:30pm. The Flyers are 0-1-1 against Steinbach this season.
Great Canadian Oil Change Three Stars
1st Star – F Tanner Lewis (Winkler)
2nd Star – G Mackenzie Chalmers (Wayway_
3rd Star – F Braden Billaney (Winkler)