A tough start to the second period was the Flyers undoing on Saturday night as the Orange and Black dropped a 3-1 decision to the visiting Steinbach Pistons in their first home game of the regular season. A day after losing a tough one goal decision to the Pistons to kick off the regular season, the Flyers played well but didn’t get the results as they suffered defeat for the second straight night.
Kicking off the home portion of their 40th season in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League, the Winkler Flyers welcomed the Steinbach Pistons for the second half of their home and home to start the season. The Pistons edged the Flyers 3-2 Friday night in Steinbach, and the Flyers were poised to the return the favour at home.
The opening period was back and fourth as the two teams skated into the first intermission in a scoreless tie. The difference in the game came in the first two minutes of the second period when Pistons’ forward Kyle Bettens scored on a breakaway 1:44 into the period and then scored again off the ensuing faceoff and the Flyers quickly found themselves down 2-0.
Despite trailing through 40 minutes of play, the Flyers came out strong in the third and would end up outshooting their opponent 20-9 in the final 20 minutes. The Pistons managed to add to their lead just five minutes into the period to put the Flyers down by three, but the majority of the final frame was spent in the Steinbach zone.
Winkler did get rewarded for their efforts with just under six minutes left in regulation when Assistant Captain Drake Burgin’s shot from the point sailed past the blocker of goaltender Matt Lenz to put the Flyers on the board. Captain Brody Moffatt and Jayden McCarthy drew the assists on Burgin’s first of the season.
However, that was the only goal that Winkler would muster as the Flyers would fall to 0-2 being forced to settle for the 3-1 defeat.
Dorrin Luding took the loss in net making 32 saves as the Flyers would outshoot the Pistons 38-34 overall. Winkler went 0-for-4 on the power-play and 3-for-3 on the penalty-kill.
The Flyers (0-2-0) will travel next to Winnipeg on Friday, September 27th to take on the Blues for the first time this season. Puck drop at the Rink Training Academy is 7:30pm with Matt Friesen’s pregame show live on Country 88.9FM and online at www.pembinavalleyonline.com getting underway at 7:25pm.