The Winkler Flyers earned their third win in a row on Friday night with a 5-4 victory over the visiting Dauphin Kings in the club’s first game back from the MJHL Christmas break. Brody Moffatt and Gino Lucia both recorded a pair of points in the win as the Orange and Black picked up their fourth win in five tries against the Kings.
After heading into the Christmas break with back-to-back wins against the OCN Blizzard, the Flyers welcomed the Kings for their first game action of 2019. With three wins in their first four meetings of the season, the Flyers were poised to have another strong showing against their rivals from Dauphin.
Winkler opened the scoring early as Jayden McCarthy banged in a loose puck just 1:27 into the game to give the Flyers a 1-0 lead. All in all, the first period was a good one for the Flyers save for a five minute stretch where the Kings scored twice to take a 2-1 lead with just over three minutes to play in the period.
The Flyers managed to tie the game late in the opening frame on the power-play when Gino Lucia spun the puck around the Kings’ net to an open Brody Moffatt who scored his 11th of the season with just one second left to send the game into the first intermission tied 2-2.
Winkler regained their lead early in the second period thanks to Griffin Leonard who out-waited Dauphin netminder Ethan Slobodzian before scoring his team leading 14th of the year. Linemates Gino Lucia and Brody Moffatt drew the assists. It’s been quite the five game stretch for that line as the trio has recorded a combined 21 points in their last five games together.
Early in the third period, the Flyers added to their lead when Michael Boutoussov fished out a loose puck behind the net and sent it over to Kurtis Luke who scored his first as a Flyer to move the home side ahead 4-2. Then with just over six and a half minutes left in regulation, defenseman Garrett Kuklica led Marcel Berube into the Dauphin zone on a short-handed odd man rush and Berube also scored his first goal in a Winkler uniform to give the Flyers a three goal cushion.
Those two insurance goals proved to be quite important as Dauphin scored again on the power-play with just over four minutes left, and pulled to within one with their goaltender on the bench with seventy seconds remaining to cut Winkler’s lead to 5-4.
Fortunately for Winkler, the Kings comeback effort would fall short and the Flyers would hang on for their 12th one goal victory of the season.
Riley Morgan had a strong game between the pipes for the Flyers, finishing the game with 31 saves. Both clubs recorded 35 shots. Winkler went 1-for-8 on the power-play and 4-for-6 on the penalty-kill.
The Flyers, who moved into eighth place in the MJHL standings, will host the Virden Oil Capitals on Saturday night. Puck drop at the Winkler Recreation Complex is 7:30pm with advance tickets available at the Winkler Coop Gas Bar, Petro-Canada Gas Bar or at the door prior to the game. You can also video stream the game live on www.hockeytv.com
Winkler Meats Three Stars
1st Star – F Brody Moffatt (Winkler)
2nd Star – F Gino Lucia (Winkler)
3rd Star – F Bryon Fobair (Dauphin)