Troy Martyniuk made 53 saves on 54 shots as the Winkler Flyers soared past the Virden Oil Capitals 6-1 on Tuesday night. Ian Mackey chipped in with a pair of goals as the Orange and Black earned their third win in a row against the Oil Caps.
Traveling to Tundra Oil and Gas Place in Virden for a potential first round playoff preview, the Flyers got the upper hand on the Oil Caps right off the bat. Just before the four minute mark of the first period, Mitch Dyck knocked down a pass in the neutral zone and raced the puck around the Virden net before tucking in a back hand wrap around to give Winkler an early 1-0 lead. It was Dyck’s fifth goal of the year, which extended his point streak to five games.
After scoring first for the sixth time in seven games, Winkler would double their lead with 6:41 left in the period. Skating the puck over the Oil Capitals’ blueline, Coltyn Bates let a slap shot fly over the shoulder of goaltender Marc Audet to push Winkler ahead 2-0. Matt Christian and Tyler Jubenvill assisted on Bates’ 17th of the year.
Virden got on the board early in the second, when captain Mack Hardy snuck the puck past Troy Martyniuk to cut Winkler’s lead to 2-1 just 1:44 into the period. That would be the only blemish on a great evening for the Winkler goaltender as the Flyers would get that one back just 26 seconds later.
Leading Jacob Lacasse on a 2-on-1, Brett Opperman faked the pass before scoring his fourth of the year to restore the Flyers two goal lead. Opperman’s unassisted goal was his sixth point in his last seven games. Winkler would tack on another one later in the period when Ian Mackey finished off a nice rush by Lawson McDonald and the Flyers lead had grown to 4-1. With the Flyers comfortably in front through two periods, Martyniuk was doing his best to keep in that way, stopping 39 of the 40 shots that came his way in the first two periods.
The Flyers would put the game away in the third with two more goals. First it was Matt Christian picking up his second assist of the game on Ian Mackey’s second goal of the night with 4:53 gone in the final frame. After going 17 games without a goal, Mackey has now scored three times in the last two games. It was Christian’s 14th point in his last 11 games.
On a 5-on-3 power-play later in the period, Gino Lucia carried the puck to the high slot and ripped a shot into the top of the net to give Winkler a 6-1 lead. Lawson McDonald and Tyler Jubenvill both earned their second assists of the game on Lucia’s 15th of the season.
Troy Martyniuk was impressive all night long with 53 saves on 54 shots while improving his record to 8-0-1 as a Flyer. The Oil Caps outshot the Flyers 54-47. Winkler went 1-for-5 on the power-play and 4-for-4 on the penalty-kill.
The Flyers (38-13-3) will enjoy the rest of the week off before traveling to Steinbach for a holiday matinee on Monday, February 20th. Puck drop at the TG Smith Centre is 2:30pm with the pregame show live on Country 88.9FM and online at www.pembinavalleyonline.com getting underway at 2:25pm.
NOTE: AP’s Everett Bestland (Pembina Valley Hawks), Trent Halfdanson (Winnipeg Thrashers) and Griffin Leonard (Winnipeg Wild) all made their Flyers’ debuts on Tuesday night and played exceptionally well. The Flyers had six regulars out of the line-up on Tuesday with Scott Gall, Jeff Michiels, Tyler Lindstrom, Brody Moffatt, Braden Billaney and Brayden Cullum all missing the game due to injury.
GREAT CANADIAN OIL CHANGE THREE STARS
1ST STAR – G TROY MARTYNIUK (WINKLER)
2ND STAR – F IAN MACKEY (WINKLER)
3RD STAR – D LAWSON MCDONALD (WINKLER)