Flyers sweep Pistons to earn Turnbull Cup

For the first time since 1998, the Winkler Flyers are Turnbull Cup Champions after winning their best-of-seven championship series against the Steinbach Pistons in four straight games.

Zach Nicolas scored the championship clinching goal on a 5-on-3 powerplay in overtime which sent the Winkler Centennial Arena into a complete frenzy.

The Flyers wasted no time getting on the board when Dalton Andrew beat Cole Plowman off a rebound just fourteen seconds into the game. Connor Paronzunni knotted the game at 1-1 just over two minutes later on a nice passing play.

Steinbach took the lead near the midway point of the first on a quick strike from Jackson Kostiuk for his 5th goal of the postseason. Fifteen seconds later, Brody Beauchemin jumped on a loose puck and tied the game at 2-2.

On a late Pistons powerplay, Jayce Legaarden made a block near the blueline and sprung himself on a breakaway, beating Plowman to give the Flyers a one-goal lead heading into the second period.

In the back half of the second, Avery Anderson picked up a loose puck at the side of the Pistons net and skated around to the slot before he spun and fired in a big goal to give the Flyers a 4-2.

The Pistons certainly wouldn’t quit, down two late in the third. Jack Cook and Jamie Fuchs connected on a nice 2-on-1 passing play where Fuchs scored his 3rd of the playoffs.

With Cole Plowman on the Pistons bench for the extra attacker, Parker Jasper tied the game with 39 seconds left, sending game four to extra time.

In overtime, the Pistons took a pair of penalties, giving the Flyers a 5-on-3 man-advantage. Off the cycle, Zach Nicolas tapped in the game winner off a pair of quick passes from Trent Penner and Brody Beauchemin, giving the Winkler Flyers their first Turnbull Cup Championship since the 1998.

Flyers goaltender, Malachi Klassen, was named the most valuable player of the McMunn & Yates Turnbull Cup Playoffs, finishing with a 12-3 record, a 2.07 goals against average, and 0.923 save percentage.

The Flyers organization earns their 4th Turnbull Cup Championship (1990-91, 1991-92, 1997-98, 2023-24), and second appearance in the Centennial Cup National Championship (1992, 2024).