The Winkler Flyers dropped a 5-4 overtime decision to the OCN Blizzard in the middle game of their three game northern swing. Devin Muir scored a late power-play goal to tie the game and then scored the game winner, just 50 seconds into overtime giving the Blizzard the extra point.
Continuing with their three day journey, the Winkler Flyers made their way to the Gordon Lathlin Memorial Centre for their fourth game in the last three weeks against the OCN Blizzard. In their three previous meetings, the Flyers had a 2-0-1 record.
Winkler did not get off to a good start as Brett Griffin scored just 1:54 into the game, giving OCN the early 1-0 lead. Just over two minutes later Shaq Houle doubled that lead to 2-0.
The Flyers responded well and just under two minutes later, Scott Gall assisted on Josh Cook’s second goal of the season, cutting OCN’s lead to 2-1 just 5:56 into the first period. With 4:19 to play before the break, Evan Last created a turnover behind the net and tucked home his third of the season pulling the Flyers even 2-2. The Flyers out-shot OCN 13-7 through 20 minutes.
The Blizzard went back in front just 31 seconds into the second period when Grant Valiquette beat goaltender Adam Vander Linden from just inside the blueline. Vander Linden, who had allowed three goals on eight shots to that point was replaced by Dasan Sydora the rest of the way.
Winkler seemed to respond to the change and tied the game again short-handed, 7:42 into the period. After failing to score on two previous breakaway’s, Tristan Keck snapped a shot top corner, tying the game at three. Jon Carlson assisted on Keck’s team leading 13th of the season.
The Flyers then took the lead for the first time when Patrice Wren finished off Cam Whyte’s pretty cross crease pass on the power-play, and the Flyers led 4-3 with 8:16 to play in the second. The Flyers took their one goal lead into the third period while outshooting the Blizzard 28-17.
OCN was the better of the two teams in the third period and took it to the Flyers in the final 20 minutes. Over the first 13 games of the season, the third period was usually the Flyers best, but tonight would be an exception. Clinging to their 4-3 lead, the Flyers got into some penalty trouble late in the period. With 4:53 left in regulation and on a 5-on-3 power-play, Devin Muir banged in a loose puck in front of the net tying the game 4-4.
With three of the Flyers last five games being decided in extra time, and with the Flyers being on the wrong end of all three, the Flyers fortunes when tied after regulation did not improve. Just 50 seconds into overtime, Devin Muir came from behind the net and flipped the puck over Dasan Sydora, giving the Blizzard the 5-4 home ice victory.
Dasan Sydora made 19 saves on the 21 shots he faced after replacing Adam Vander Linden early in the second period. The Flyers were 1-for-7 on the power-play and 7-for-8 on the penalty-kill.
The Flyers (8-2-4) will conclude their road trip Sunday night in Swan River with their first meeting of the season against the Swan Valley Stampeders (5-7-1). Puck drop at the Swan River Centennial Arena is 6pm. The pregame show can be heard live on Country 88.9FM and online at www.pembinavalleyonline.com with Matt Friesen’s pregame show at 5:55pm.