The Winkler Flyers dropped a fast paced, hard hitting 4-2 decision to the visiting Steinbach Pistons on Tuesday night in their first real home game in over a month. Connor Beebe and Brody Moffatt both scored for the Flyers who came up short at the end despite playing one of their best games in recent memory.

Back at the Winkler Recreation Complex after spending the entire month of November based in Morden due to the arena shutdown in their home rink, the Flyers had a good jump in their step aided in part by a number of fresh new faces in the line-up.

The Flyers had good pressure right from the opening faceoff, but for the 10th time in their last 11 games, they would give up the first goal of the game as Boedy Vaeth would tip a point shot past Britt League before the game was six minutes old. Then with 8:23 gone in the first period, Brendan Martin doubled Steinbach’s lead to 2-0 with a short-handed breakaway goal.

Moments later, the Flyers cut the Pistons’ lead to 2-1 with a short-handed goal of their own. After carrying the puck into the Steinbach zone on a 2-on-1, Jayden McCarthy sent it towards the net where Captain Connor Beebe chipped it over the shoulder of goaltender Matt Lenz for his third of the season and first in his last 13 games.

The Pistons would get another good bounce around the net before the end of the first and took a 3-1 lead into the break.

Winkler continued their solid play in the middle frame and made it a one goal game with 2:27 left on the clock. Near the end of a great shift by the newly formed line of Brody Moffatt, Griffin Leonard and newcomer Michael Boutoussov, the puck went from defenseman Caydon Meyer down to Moffatt who snuck a quick shot through the legs of the goaltender to cut Steinbach’s lead to 3-2. It was Moffatt’s team leading ninth of the season.

In search of the tying goal in the third, the Orange and Black pushed hard for the equalizer well into the final minute of regulation. With the Flyers’ net empty with 39 seconds left on the clock, the Pistons sealed the victory when a clearing attempt from their own goal line banked off the boards and right into the open Winkler net to make the final 4-2 for the visitors.

Britt League made 29 saves on the 32 shots he faced as the Pistons outshot the Flyers 33-30 overall. Both teams were 0-for-2 on the power-play but did score one short-handed.

The Flyers will travel to Beausejour on Saturday night to face the Selkirk Steelers in their second of six meetings. Puck drop at the Sun Gro Centre is 7:30pm with Matt Friesen’s pregame show on Country 88 and online at www.pembinavalleyonline.com getting underway at 7:25pm. You can also watch the game with a subscription to www.hockeytv.com

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GAME STATS

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Friday, February 22nd

SEMHL
Warren 6 Portage 1
(1st game in best of 7 semifinal)

MJHL
Winkler 7 Neepawa 2
Selkirk 4 Steinbach 2
Waywayseecappo 4 Virden 2
Portage 5 Swan Valley 3

Manitoba AAA Midget Hockey League
Wpg Bruins 4 Eastman 1
Yellowhead 10 Southwest 3

WHL
Brandon 6 Saskatoon 2

AHL
Laval 3 Manitoba 0

NHL
Winnipeg 6 Vegas 3
Columbus 3 Ottawa 0
Colorado 5 Chicago 3
Minnesota 3 Detroit 2
Calgary 2 Anaheim 1

NBA
Toronto 120 San Antonio 117
Charlotte 123 Washington 110
Chicago 110 Orlando 109
Indiana 126 New Orleans 111
Detroit 125 Atlanta 122
Minnesota 115 New York 104
L.A. Clippers 112 Memphis 106
Denver 114 Dallas 104
Oklahoma City 148 Utah 147 (2OT)

Saturday, February 23rd

SEMHL
Morden at Carman, 8 p.m.
(1st game in best of 7 semifinal)

Manitoba AAA Midget Hockey League
Pembina Valley vs Southwest
@ Morden, 8 p.m.
Central Plains vs Parkland
@ Dauphin, 7:30 p.m.
Wpg Bruins at Kenora, 7:30 p.m.
Wpg Wild at Brandon, 7:30 p.m.
Interlake vs Norman
@ Thompson, 7:30 p.m.
Yellowhead vs Wpg Thrashers
@ Shoal Lake, 7:30 p.m.

MMJHL
Pembina Valley vs St. Boniface
@ Wpg, 5 p.m.

MJHL
Swan Valley at Wpg Blues, 7 p.m.

WHL
Brandon at Prince Albert, 7 p.m.

AHL
Manitoba at Laval, 2 p.m.

NHL
Washington at Buffalo, 12 p.m
New Jersey at N.Y. Rangers, 12 p.m.
Boston at St. Louis, 3 p.m.
Los Angeles at Florida, 4 p.m.
Carolina at Dallas, 4 p.m.
San Jose at Columbus, 4 p.m.
Colorado at Nashville, 4:30 p.m.
Montreal at Toronto, 6 p.m.
Pittsburgh at Philadelphia, 7 p.m.
Anaheim at Edmonton, 9 p.m.
N.Y. Islanders at Vancouver, 9 p.m.

NBA
Portland at Philadelphia, 12 p.m.
Memphis at Cleveland, 6 p.m.
Phoenix at Atlanta, 6 p.m.
Indiana at Washington, 6 p.m.
Brooklyn at Charlotte, 6 p.m.
L.A. Lakers at New Orleans, 6 p.m.
Detroit at Maimi, 6:30 p.m.
Boston at Chicago, 7 p.m.
Sacramento at Oklahoma City, 7 p.m.
Houston at Golden State, 7:30 p.m.
Minnesota at Milwaukee, 7:30 p.m.
Dallas at Utah, 9 p.m.

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