The Winkler Flyers fired over 50 shots on goal in a 3-2 win over the visiting Dauphin Kings, in their first game back from the Christmas Break. Tanner Lewis scored what turned out to be the game winning goal with nine minutes left in the second period as the Flyers picked up their seventh win in their last eight games.
More than two weeks after beating the Portage Terriers on December 18th, the Orange and Black welcomed the Dauphin Kings in their first game of 2017. In their previous four meetings with the Kings, the Flyers picked up four wins.
It was a good opening period for the Flyers as they outshot the Kings 23-6 in the first 20 minutes and scored the game’s first goal just over four minutes in. Braden Billaney scored his 10th of the year on the power-play with Lawson McDonald and Connor Hamonic drawing the assists.
Just over three minutes later, Dauphin Forward Grady Hobbs shoveled the puck under the pad of Cole Weaver to tie the game 1-1.
Winkler restored their one goal lead just before the midway point of the second period on a goal by defenseman Mitch Dyck. After winning the draw in the Kings’ zone, Coltyn Bates found Dyck up at the blueline and his wrister found the back of the net for his third of the year to put Winkler back in front 2-1.
With 8:58 to play in the middle frame, Tanner Lewis finished off a nice pass from Scott Gall and the Flyers had a 3-1 lead. Lawson McDonald earned his second assist of the game and team leading 27th helper of the year on Lewis’ sixth goal of the season.
Outshooting their opponent 39-14 through 40 minutes, the Flyers took their two goal lead into the third period. Dauphin cut into Winkler’s lead with their second goal of the game, 2:16 into the third period but Winkler would continue to push the pace. Winkler had 12 more shots in the third compared to Dauphin’s two as the Orange and Black would go on to win their 26th game of the year by a score of 3-2.
Cole Weaver (18-5-0) made 14 saves in the win as the Flyers outshot Dauphin 51-16 overall. The Flyers went 1-for-2 on the power-play and 2-for-2 on the penalty-kill. After a stretch of six games without scoring a goal on the man-advantage, the Flyers have now scored four power-play goals in their last three games.
The Flyers (26-10-0) will now prepare for a big road game Saturday night (7:30pm @ TG Smith Centre in Steinbach) against the first place Steinbach Pistons (28-5-1). The second place Flyers are just five points shy of the first place Pistons with five head to head meetings left this season. The Flyers lost their first and only meeting with Steinbach back in October.
You can catch the game live on Country 88.9FM and online at www.pembinavalleyonline.com with Matt Friesen’s pregame show getting underway at 7:25pm.
GREAT CANADIAN OIL CHANGE THREE STARS
1ST STAR – F LAWSON MCDONALD (WINKLER)
2ND STAR – G BRANDON HOLTBY (DAUPHIN)
3RD STAR – F COLTYN BATES (WINKLER)