Troy Martyniuk stopped all 31 shots he faced as the Winkler Flyers clinched second place in the MJHL Standings with a 3-0 win over the visiting Winnipeg Blues. Martyniuk’s second straight shutout came in front of another great crowd at the Winkler Rec Complex as the Orange and Black played their second last home game of the regular season.
On the heels of a 2-0 win over the Neepawa Natives on Tuesday night, the Flyers began their final weekend of the regular season looking for their fifth win in six tries against the Blues.
It was a good opening period by the Flyers, and for the sixth time in six games against Winnipeg, the Flyers scored first. With just under three minutes left in the period, Lawson McDonald and Brett Opperman assisted on Tyler Jubenvill’s 14th of the season, giving Winkler a 1-0 lead. It was McDonald’s team leading 40th assist of the year.
The second period was another solid 20 minutes of hockey for the Flyers, but despite outshooting the Blues 20-6 in the middle frame, Winkler could not add to their lead.
Winkler began the third period by doubling their lead to 2-0, thanks to Braden Billaney’s 20th goal of the year on a partial breakaway, with Tanner Lewis and Connor Hamonic assisting on the goal. However, the better part of the third period was spent in the Flyers zone as the Blues recorded 18 of their 31 shots in the final frame.
After a 28 save shutout of Neepawa on Tuesday, Troy Martyniuk was sensational in the third, making some jaw dropping stops to keep Winnipeg off the board. The Flyers added some more insurance with 1:28 left in the game when Tanner Lewis scored into an empty Winnipeg net to push Winkler ahead by three.
Martyniuk finished the game with 31 saves as the Flyers outshot the Blues 41-31. It was Martyniuk’s second straight shutout and fifth time in his last seven starts that he’s allowed one goal or less. He also improved his record to 11-1-1 as a Flyer. Both teams were 0-for-2 on the power-play.
The Flyers (41-15-3) have now clinched second place in the MJHL Standings as they get set to host the Virden Oil Capitals in their regular season finale on Saturday night. Puck drop at the Winkler Rec Complex is 7:30pm with advance tickets available at the Winkler Coop Gas Bar or at the door prior to the game. The Flyers will hand out their 2016-2017 Team Awards during an on ice ceremony prior to the game.
GREAT CANADIAN OIL CHANGE THREE STARS
1ST STAR – G TROY MARTYNIUK (WINKLER)
2ND STAR – F BRADEN BILLANEY (WINKLER)
3RD STAR – F TANNER LEWIS (WINKLER)