Jayden McCarthy scored his third goal of the game, 27 seconds into overtime to give the Winkler Flyers a 7-6 victory over the Kings in a wildly entertaining affair in Dauphin. The Flyers power-play connected twice on three opportunities as the Orange and Black earned their seventh win in their last nine outings.
After losing in regulation for the first time in nearly three weeks, Tuesday night in Selkirk, the Winkler Flyers were back on the road looking to get back to their winning ways. The Flyers and Kings entered play on Friday night in very similar situations as six of their last nine games combined had gone to overtime or a shootout.
The Kings were the better team to start, as they scored the first two goals to put the Flyers behind 2-0 before the game was eight minutes old. Winkler was quick to recover as Jayden McCarthy let a shot go from the top of the right circle on the power-play and Winkler was on the board with 9:28 left in the first period. Just over two minutes later, Alex Cattani carried the puck into the Dauphin zone and undressed both Kings’ defenders and goaltender Mattias Smith and the game was tied 2-2.
Winkler was not done there as Griffin Leonard cashed in a loose puck with just six seconds left in the opening frame and the Flyers took their one goal lead into the break.
Dauphin began the second period with a pretty tip in goal from leading scorer Nakodan Greyeyes and the game was tied again nearly five minutes in. Again, the Flyers rallied back and added three more goals before intermission. Entering play on Friday, the Flyers had scored nearly half of their goals this season in the second period and that trend continued in Dauphin.
With 9:35 gone in the second, Kyle Lamoureux and Grady Lane assisted on Griffin Leonard’s second goal of the game and Winkler was back in front 4-3. Nearly three minutes later, Garrett Szeremley stepped out of the penalty box and into a 2-on-1 before scoring his first Flyers’ goal to make it 5-3. Then exactly four minutes after that, Sulivan Shortreed dropped a pass to Jayden McCarthy who snapped a wrist shot into the top corner to give the Flyers a 6-3 lead with his second goal of the evening.
With things seemingly in hand, the Flyers entered the third period up by three. However, the home town Kings had other ideas. Sporting the best goals scored per game average in the MJHL, the Kings mounted a comeback which began in the opening minute of the third period. The Kings took advantage of some defensive miscues by the Flyers and also earned some fortunate bounces in front of the net and managed to tie the game 6-6 with just under six minutes left in regulation.
Having let their three goal lead slip away, the Flyers were awarded a power-play in the final minute that carried over into overtime. It didn’t take the Flyers long to finish it off after that as Shortreed took the puck down the left wing wall, fed it up to the point to Drake Burgin who then sent it over the McCarthy on the right wing. After already scoring two goals earlier in the game, McCarthy fired a one-timer into the net to give the Flyers the extra point and the 7-6 win. It was McCarthy’s second overtime winner of the season.
Goaltender Dorrin Luding made many key stops along the way as he improved his record to 8-5-1. Winkler outshot the Kings 41-36 overall. The Flyers were 2-for-3 on the power-play and 3-for-4 on the penalty-kill.
The Flyers (11-6-1) will travel up to OCN on Saturday night to face the Blizzard for the second time this season. The Flyers beat the Blizzard 6-4 back in Winkler on September 28th in their first meeting of the season. Puck drop at the Gordon Lathlin Memorial Centre is 7pm with Matt Friesen’s pregame show getting underway live on Country 88 and www.pembinavalleyonline.com at 6:55pm. You can also catch the game with a subscription to www.hockeytv.com.