The Winkler Flyers doubled the Selkirk Steelers 4-2 on Tuesday night as they began a stretch of four straight games on the road. Troy Martyniuk finished the night with 32 saves and a pair of assists as the Flyers won their fourth game in six tries against the Steelers.
With three wins in their last four games overall, the Flyers made their final regular season trip to Selkirk to play a struggling Steelers’ squad that had won just three of their last ten games. The Flyers had a solid opening 20 minutes and would open the scoring just before the halfway mark of the first period.
With 9:15 gone in the game, Weiland Parrish, who had missed the last two games with an injury, cashed in a rebound off an Erik Dahl shot and Winkler had a 1-0 lead thanks to the Minnesota native’s 18th of the season. The Flyers dominated the first period and doubled their lead with just over five minutes left before intermission. Taking the pass up in the neutral zone from goaltender Troy Martyniuk, Matt Christian led rookie Lucas Barker on a two on one. After drawing the Selkirk defender over, Christian sent the puck to Barker and he made no mistake in scoring his sixth goal of the season.
Winkler took their 2-0 lead into the second period while outshooting the Steelers 15-6 in the process. Selkirk pushed back in the middle frame and cut Winkler’s lead in half with two minutes left in the period but Winkler still led 2-1 after 40 minutes.
Entering play on Tuesday, the Flyers had taken a lead into the third period 25 times, and in 24 of those games the Flyers had gone on to win the game. Tuesday’s game would be no different. Just 53 seconds into the final frame, Coltyn Bates carried the puck around the Selkirk defenseman and scored his 21st of the season and fifth in his last five games to push Winkler ahead by two. Troy Martyniuk and Matt Christian both earned their second assists of the game. The two points in the game for Christian were his 10th and 11th points in his last five games.
The rest of the third period was back and forth and the Steelers would once again make it a one goal game with just 1:54 left in regulation. With the Selkirk net now empty late in the game, Flyers forward Cole Kirkup scored his eighth of the season to restore Winkler’s two goal lead which soon turned into a 4-2 victory.
Troy Martyniuk earned his league leading 26th win of the season with a 32 save and two assist performance. Winkler outshot Selkirk 40-34 overall. The Flyers were 0-for-3 on the power-play and 2-for-2 on the penalty-kill. It was another stellar night for the line of Coltyn Bates, Matt Christian and Weiland Parrish who in on three of the four goals. Those three have a combined 24 points in their last five games.
At 32-21-0, the Flyers now have a three point lead on the OCN Blizzard for fourth place in the MJHL Standings. Winkler is also just five points back of the third place Portage Terriers with seven regular season games remaining.
Next up for the Flyers is a weekend road trip in Virden and Swan Valley on Friday and Saturday. Both games get underway at 7:30pm and can be heard live on Country 88.9FM and online at www.pembinavalleyonline.com with Matt Friesen’s pregame show getting underway at 7:25pm.
GREAT CANADIAN OIL CHANGE THREE STARS
1ST STAR – F MATT CHRISTIAN (WINKLER)
2ND STAR – G TROY MARTYNIUK (WINKLER)
3RD STAR – F WEILAND PARRISH (WINKLER)