Flyers earn point in thrilling shootout loss to Mustangs

Photo: Heather Pollock/Hockey Canada Images

OAKVILLE, ON –Β The Winkler Flyers overcame a two-goal deficit in the 3rd period but would fall 6-5 to the SJHL’s Melfort Mustangs in the shootout to earn a valuable point, moving to 1-0-0-1 at the Centennial Cup.

The Flyers got rolling early in the first period as Jakob Jones and Brody Beauchemin each scored a powerplay marker to give Winkler a 2-0 lead.

Winkler would kill off a late penalty and start the second on the kill after Zach Nicolas was called for high-sticking. The Flyers would continue their parade to the penalty box and Melfort would strike when Leith Olafson beat Malachi Klassen.

No more than three minutes later, the Flyers would respond when Connor Jensen’s shot beat James Venne on the blocker side, giving Winkler a 3-1 lead.

Into the back half of the period, Melfort would go on to score a pair of goals in 37 seconds to tie the game up at 3-3 heading into the third. The Mustangs picked up right where they left off in the second and scored 59 seconds into the third to take their first lead of the afternoon.

Aidyn Hutchinson would beat Malachi Klassen on a shot along the ice to increase the Mustangs lead to 5-3.

The Flyers would bend but not break as Dalton Andrew would score his 5th goal of the Centennial Cup, brining Winkler to within one goal on the powerplay.

With Klassen on the bench for the extra attacker, Zach Nicolas would jam in a rebound on the doorstep with 22 seconds left, tying the game at 5-5. The end of regulation would solve nothing as the game would require extra time to decide a winner.

In overtime, both teams traded grade A chances including a number of breakaways and 2-on-1 opportunities with both Malachi Klassen and James Venne standing tall to keep their respective teams in the game.

Clay Sleeva and Ryan Duguay would score in the shootout for the Mustangs before Dalton Andrew would find the back of the net on his attempt, bringing the Flyers back in it.

After Klassen stopped Logan Belton on his shootout attempt, Trent Penner had a chance to send the shootout into extras, but James Venne would close the door and the Flyers would fall to the Mustangs.

Next up for the Flyers is a date with the host, Oakville Blades on Monday night at 6:30 CST.