Dorrin Luding turned aside 61 shots through 65 minutes of play and then stayed perfect in the shootout to help the Winkler Flyers get past the first place Steinbach Pistons 2-1 Friday night at home. The victory snapped the Flyers mini two game losing skid as the club has now earned points in six of their last seven home games.
Back on home ice after a loss in Portage on Wednesday, where the Orange and Black fell apart late in the third period, the Flyers returned home to take on the top ranked team in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League. The Flyers doubled up the Pistons 6-3 in Steinbach in their last meeting on Nov. 11 and were 1-2-0 overall against their rivals from the east.
The visitors got on the board first just before the five minute mark of the opening period, when Tanner Mole sent the puck out in front to Codey Behun who beat Dorrin Luding from the top of the crease. It was the fifth time in their last six games that the Flyers had surrendered the first goal of the game.
From that point on, the game belonged to the Winkler goaltender as he kept his team within striking distance the rest of the way. After outshooting the Flyers 15-5 in the first 20 minutes, the Pistons would fire another 47 shots on goal with Dorrin Luding making sure that none of them would cross the goal line.
The Flyers would get the equalizer they were looking for just 73 seconds into the third period. After Griffin Leonard won the offensive zone draw back to Garrett Szeremley at the blueline, Jayden McCarthy took control of the puck and sent a wrist shot through the large crowd in front and over the glove of Pistons’ goaltender Danton Belluk to tie the game 1-1. It was McCarthy’s third goal in his last four games and team leading 21st of the season. With the assists, Szeremley has now accounted for five points in his last five games, while Leonard picked up his tenth point in his last five.
With the game still tied after regulation and overtime, a shootout would be required to decide a winner. Sulivan Shortreed went first for the Flyers and tucked his forehand shot just inside the post to give Winkler the early advantage. That would be all the Flyers would need as Dorrin Luding shut the door on all three Steinbach shooters and Winkler would pick up the extra point and the 2-1 win.
Luding finished the night with 61 saves as the Pistons outshot the Flyers 62-36. Winkler went 0-for-3 on the power-play and 4-for-4 on the penalty-kill.
The Flyers (20-10-4) remain in fifth place in the MJHL Standings as they look ahead to their home game on tonight against the Winnipeg Blues in their final game before the Christmas Break. Puck drop at the Winkler Recreation Complex is 7:30 p.m.