The Orange and Black earned a 5-3 win in OCN on Sunday night completing the weekend sweep while also picking up their fifth win in a row. The Flyers scored a total of 14 goals in their weekend wins over Swan Valley and OCN and earned a very valuable six points.
Looking to finish their road trip off on the right note, the Flyers came out of the gate strong and opened up a two goal lead before the game was seven minutes old. Just over six minutes into the game, Jayden McCarthy skated the puck around the Blizzard zone before scoring his team leading 24th goal of the season. Fourteen seconds after that Carson Pawlenchuk fired home his eighth of the year to put Winkler in front 2-0. The Flyers took their two goal lead into the intermission while outshooting the Blizzard 18-5.
Early in the second, Drake Burgin and Grady Lane assisted on Griffin Leonard’s 21st of the season and the Flyers lead had grown to 3-0. The Blizzard fought back with two quick goals of their own and Winkler’s lead had been cut to 3-2 with just over five minutes gone in the middle frame.
The Flyers managed to get the momentum back around four minutes later when Ian Tookenay fired a pass out of the corner to Nathan Poolman who then picked the top corner from the point to restore the Flyers two goal lead. Minutes later, Tookenay and Leonard connected with Sulivan Shortreed on a pretty power-play goal and the Flyers had their three goal lead back thanks to Shortreed’s 20th of the season. With two more points on Sunday, Shortreed has now recorded nine points in four games played against OCN this season.
OCN managed to get one back on the power-play late in the middle period and the Flyers lead and shrunk to 5-3 after 40 minutes of play. The Blizzard had good pressure to start the third period but Flyers’ goaltender Dorrin Luding had a great final period and kept his team in the lead right to the end.
Luding made 25 saves in the win as the Flyers outshot the Blizzard 40-28. Winkler went 1-for-3 on the power-play and 4-for-5 on the penalty-kill.
The Flyers (24-10-4) remain in third place in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League standings just one point behind the second place Portage Terriers. Winkler will return home to face the Winnipeg Blues on Tuesday night. Puck drop at the Winkler Recreation Complex is 7:30 p.m.