The Winkler Flyers moved into a tie for first place in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League Standings with a 5-4 win over the Swan Valley Stampeders on Saturday night. Jayden McCarthy recorded a goal and three assists to help the Flyers win their 15th game of the season.
After losing in a shootout the night before, the Flyers welcomed the Stamps back to the Winkler Rec Complex for the second straight night. With another solid crowd cheering them on, the Flyers played well in the opening period and went on to outshoot Swan Valley 14-6 in the period. However, it was the Stampeders who opened the scoring, 7:35 into the game. With a 3-6-1 record when allowing the opposing team to score first, the Flyers needed to step up their game and did just that with two goals of their own before intermission.
Just over a minute after the Swan Valley goal, Griffin Leonard skated the puck over the blueline and wired a shot off the cross bar and in to tie the game 1-1. Not even two minutes later, Jayden McCarthy made a nice move around a Stampeder defenseman on the power-play to put Winkler in front 2-1.
Still leading by a goal early in the second period, Leonard scored again from beside the net and the Flyers lead had grown to 3-1. Ian Tookenay and Nathan Poolman assisted on Leonard’s second of the game. The Stamps’ responded with a goal of their own not long after and the Flyers’ lead had been cut to 3-2.
With just over five minutes left in the middle frame, the Flyers went back on the power-play and increased their lead to 4-2. Working the puck up in the zone, Drake Burgin sent it to Jayden McCarthy at the top of the right circle who then spotted Sulivan Shortreed open in the slot, and the team’s leading goal scorer made no mistake in scoring his 14th of the season.
However, the Stampeders added another one before the end of the period and Winkler took their 4-3 lead into the break.
With a 12-0 record when leading after two periods, the Flyers added to their lead with another Shortreed goal just 2:08 into the final frame. Jayden McCarthy picked up the assist on Shortreed’s second of the game and team leading 15th of the year. The Stampeders fought back again and scored with 14:15 left on the clock to get it back to within one.
That is as close as the visitors would get as the Flyers would hang on to their one goal lead right till the final buzzer. Dylan Meilun picked up the win in goal for Winkler, making 27 saves. The Flyers outshot the Stampeders 37-31. Winkler also went 2-for-3 on the power-play and 3-for-3 on the penalty-kill.
The Flyers (15-6-2), are now tied with the Steinbach Pistons for first place in the MJHL Standings as they get set to host the Selkirk Steelers on Tuesday night. Puck drop at the Winkler Recreation Complex is 7:30pm. You can catch the game live with a subscription to www.hockeytv.com. The Flyers are now 11-1-2 in their last 14 games.
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