The Flyers let a point slip through their fingers on Thursday night, falling 3-2 in overtime to the Winnipeg Blues in their third game of the regular season. Leading by two goals late, the Flyers gave up two quick ones in the final minutes of regulation and the eventual game winner in the first two minutes of overtime to suffer their first loss of the year.
With two wins in their first two games of the season against Neepawa, the Flyers faced off against the Winnipeg Blues for the first time this season at Bell/MTS Iceplex. Head Coach Steve Mullin inserted a number of new faces into his lineup on Thursday night and was rewarded for it early on.
Just over three minutes into the game after a series of good pressure in the Winnipeg zone, rookie forward Kyle Lang tipped in a shot from Jacob Lacasse to give Winkler a 1-0 lead. Ahmed Ally also assisted on Lang’s first goal in his first game.
The opening 20 minutes went just as the Flyers had planned as they allowed the Blues very little room on the ice while keeping the puck in the attacking zone nearly the entire period. Winkler doubled their lead to 2-0 with 58 seconds left in the first as Altona product Colton Harder also scored his first goal in his first game with Kyle Lang drawing the helper and Winkler took a 2-0 lead into the break while outshooting Winnipeg 16-8.
The Flyers didn’t do themselves any favours though in the second as Winnipeg started to take momentum thanks in large part to four Winkler penalties in the period.
With Winkler still leading 2-0 with just a few minutes to play in the third, Winnipeg finally found the scoreboard as captain Kelton Sutherland cut Winkler’s lead to 2-1 with 3:27 left on the clock. The Blues jumped on the Flyers again and tied the game just 20 seconds later.
After the rest of regulation solved nothing, the Flyers were headed to overtime for the second straight game. But unlike last season, where the Flyers did not lose a regular season game in overtime, the Blues scored the game winner on a nice back door pass to Nathan Hillis just 1:57 into the period and the home side would complete the comeback and hand Winkler a 3-2 overtime loss.
Riley Morgan (1-0-1) got his second straight start in goal for Winkler and made 34 saves as the Blues outshot Winkler 37-27. Winkler was 0-for-4 on the power-play and 7-for-7 on the penalty-kill.
The Flyers (2-0-1) will return home to face the Steinbach Pistons (0-2-0) on Friday night. It will be another Petro Canada Black Friday and Denray Tire Shoot to Win competition. Puck drop at the Winkler Rec Complex is 7:30pm. You can watch the game live with a subscription to www.hockeytv.com