When Jayden McCarthy and the Winkler Flyers hit the road north to Virden for game three of their best-of-seven opening round series, they received a phone call shortly after their departure.
Unfortunately for the Flyers and other teams alike, it was a call that would put an end to their season. As many know, the COVID-19 Pandemic forced the MJHL to shut down and cancel its season in the middle of the first round back in March.
“It definitely came as a surprise watching all the different leagues slowly cancel until it came down to us,” McCarthy said of the end to last season. “Once we got word the season wouldn’t start again it was sad to see the great team that Winkler had assembled not get to finish.”
“After quarantine got less strict I was able to go back to my routine schedule for summer. Skating and working out every day in Winnipeg with some part time work when I had time.”
Just one year after missing the playoffs and finishing in ninth, the Winkler Flyers did a complete one-eighty in 2019-20 and surprised many across the league going 38-17-2-3 to finish in third place.
Now with under two weeks to go until the puck drops on a season like no other, McCarthy and his Flyers’ teammates are thrilled to be back on the ice, ready to compete for the Turnbull Cup.
“After skating all summer not knowing if there would be a season it has added a lot of excitement to get back into the compete level that you cant simulate in training. With everything going on in the world its nice to be able to block everything out and just play hockey.”
“This year is all about winning a championship with this great organization. I’m very excited to see how the final product of this team comes together by opening day.”
After McCarthy nearly tripled his offensive output from his rookie season to last, the 19-year-old veteran from Morris shared his expectation for the coming season.
“My personal goal is to fit into whatever my role my team needs me for this season. If it’s to try and score every game and best myself from last year then that’s what my mind will be set on,” McCarthy finished.