Britt League turned aside 49 shots as the Winkler Flyers beat the Swan Valley Stampeders 3-1 in the first of two straight games in Swan River. Jayden McCarthy and Drake Burgin both recorded a goal and an assist to help the Flyers pick up their fifth win in their last six games.
Continuing their five game road trip, the Flyers made the trip to Swan River for the first time this season. Winkler’s only meeting of the year against the Stampeders came back in Winkler in early October, which saw the Flyers beat the MJHL’s second best club in 5-4 in overtime.
The Stampeders got the early jump on the Flyers but Britt League and the Winkler defense stood tall in the opening period. The Flyers offense rewarded them for it with a pair of power-play goals late in the period. With 2:34 left in the first, Erik Dahl set up Jayden McCarthy for a one-timer and just over two minutes later, Eric Fawkes set up Drake Burgin for a one-timer of his own to give the Orange and Black a two goal lead after 20 minutes.
Swan Valley cut Winkler’s lead in half early in the second with what would turn out to be their only goal of the game. Despite a number of great chances to add to their lead, the Flyers skated into the third period with a 2-1 advantage.
The Stampeders pushed hard for the equalizer in the final period and recorded 26 of their 50 shots on goal in the third period alone. Despite spending the majority of the final frame defending their lead, the Flyers managed to pick up an insurance goal just before the seven minute mark when Marcel Berube took the pass beside the net and tucked home his fifth of the season. Gino Lucia and Brody Moffatt assisted on Winkler’s third power-play goal of the night.
The rest of the game belonged to goaltender Britt League and the rest of the Winkler defenders as they would hold off the Stampeders’ attack and earn a much deserved 3-1 win on the road.
League, who was making his third straight start, finished the night with 49 saves. Swan Valley outshot Winkler 50-37 overall. Winkler’s power-play went 3-for-4 while the penalty-kill was a perfect 5-for-5.
The Flyers and Stampeders will meet again on Saturday night. Puck drop at the Swan River Centennial Arena is 7:30pm with Matt Friesen’s pregame show on Country 88 and online at www.pembinavalleyonline.com getting underway at 7:25pm.