The Winkler Flyers scored three goals in the third period on their way to a 5-3 win over the visiting Portage Terriers on Sunday night. Playing their first game in a week, the Flyers had a strong showing while picking up their fifth straight victory.
Entering play on Sunday, the Flyers and Terriers were headed in opposite directions. After dropping their first two games of the season, the Flyers had come out on top in their last four outings. The Terriers, meanwhile, had lost their last three after starting the season with four straight wins.
The Flyers had a good opening 20 minutes and scored first just past the halfway mark of the period. On the power-play, Matt Christian found fellow Grand Forks native Brock Montgomery at the point and the defenseman scored on a one-timer to put Winkler up 1-0. Coltyn Bates also assisted on Montgomery’s first of the year. The assists also increased Christian and Bates’ point streaks to seven games.
Winkler doubled their lead to 2-0 just over five minutes into the second, once again on the power-play. Matt Christian scored the goal, picking the top corner after a great individual effort with Bates and Montgomery drawing the assists. Portage Rookie Joey Moffatt scored before intermission and the Flyers took a 2-1 lead into the third.
With a great Thanksgiving crowd cheering them on, Jacob Lacasse scored his second of the season to push Winkler in front 3-1 just over a minute into the third. Matt Christian and Aidan Bar-Lev-Wise picked up the assists.
However, the defending champion Terriers had some fight left and scored the next two goals, tying the game 3-3 with 3:55 left in regulation. But Winkler had a quick answer for that as Matt Christian fed the puck into the slot for Nolan McGuire not even a minute later, and the Winkler Captain put the Flyers back in front with his team leading 7th goal of the season. It was Christian’s fourth point of the game and team leading 10th assist of the year.
With Portage goaltender Brock Aiken on the bench in favor of the extra attacker in the final minute, Montgomery and Bates each earned their third points on the night on Will Blake’s empty net goal to make the final score 5-3 for Winkler.
Troy Martyniuk had another strong game between the pipes for Winkler, kicking aside 29 Terrier shots while increasing his record to 4-2. The Flyers outshot Portage 40-32. The Flyers were 2-for-4 on the power-play and 2-for-3 on the penalty-kill.
The Flyers (5-2-0) will take the rest of the week off before hosting the Swan Valley Stampeders on Friday, October 13th. Puck drop for Petro Canada Black Friday is 7:30pm.
GREAT CANADIAN OIL CHANGE THREE STARS
1ST STAR – F MATT CHRISTIAN (WINKLER)
2ND STAR – D BROCK MONTGOMERY (WINKLER)
3RD STAR – F NOLAN McGUIRE (WINKLER)