The Winkler Flyers gave up three goals in the third period in a 4-3 loss to the visiting Virden Oil Capitals on Friday night. Despite firing 42 shots on goal, the Orange and Black were forced to settle for their second straight loss in regulation.
Back at home after a 3-2 loss in Waywayseecappo on Tuesday night, the Flyers were looking to get back to their winning ways after coming up short in their last three games overall. Friday’s game was the third meeting of the season between two of the best offensive clubs in the MJHL, and with a total of seven goals scored and 81 shots on net, the entertainment value was there.
The first period was back and forth with both teams generating significant chances. The lone goal of the period went to the Oil Caps, who scored on a goal mouth scramble with just under five minutes left in the opening frame.
Winkler tied the game with 5:33 gone in the second when Everett Bestland made a nice move around a Virden defenseman before finding some room on the near side of the net, scoring his fourth goal of the season. Jayden McCarthy drew the lone assist. Then with 4:20 left before intermission, Alex Cattani and Kyle Lamoureux assisted on Carson Pawlenchuk’s sixth of the year, and second in as many games to give Winkler a 2-1 lead heading into the third.
The Oil Capitals jumped on the Flyers to start the third and tied the game not even a minute into the final period. Virden then struck twice on the power-play and the Flyers trailed 4-2 with just over five minutes left to play.
The Orange and Black got back to within one when Jayden McCarthy jumped on a loose puck in front of the net, scoring his 18th of the season. It’s been quite the four week stretch for McCarthy, as his two point night moved him into a tie for the team lead in goals and also gives him 21 points over his last 12 games.
However, the Flyers’ attempt at the equalizer would fail and the Oil Caps would hang on for the 4-3 win.
Despite taking the loss, Dorrin Luding had a fantastic game between the pipes, making 35 saves including two big stops on Virden breakaways. The Flyers outshot Virden 42-39 overall. Winkler went 0-for-4 on the power-play and 3-for-5 on the penalty-kill.
The Flyers (17-8-4) are now off until next weekend where they will play three games in three days. The club will host the Dauphin Kings on December 13 and 14 before travelling to Waywayseecappo December 15. The Flyers are currently in a three way tie for third place in the MJHL standings with Swan Valley and Wayway but have games in hand on both teams. Winkler has lost their last four games in a row, all by a single goal including a pair of overtime losses to the Dauphin Kings.