Klassen, Flyers shutout Blades to earn spot in Centennial playoffs

Photo: Lori Bolliger/Hockey Canada Images

OAKVILLE, ON – Malachi Klassen made 24 saves in a shutout performance to help the Winkler Flyers beat the Oakville Blades, 4-0 on Monday night at the Centennial Cup in Oakville to help solidify their spot in the playoff round.

In the first period, both teams played strong in the neutral zone and neither team could generate any offence. The Flyers and Blades would go into the the second period scoreless with Winkler holding a 6-5 edge on the shot clock.

The Flyers hit the ice running in the second period and found their game. 3:27 into the period, Dalton Andrew tipped the Connor Jensen point shot to notch his 6th goal of the Centennial Cup. No more than four minutes later, Flyers defenceman, James Richards, cut around the net and tucked in the wrap around attempt to give the Flyers a 2-0 lead.

The Flyers would have a late powerplay and would come close on a pair of chances but would head into the 2nd intermission holding their 2-0 lead over the Blades.

In the 3rd period, the Flyers took over and played some of their best shutdown hockey. With just over seven minutes to play, Winkler would be forced to kill off a penalty which they would do successfully, taking the game into the final five minutes.

Oakville would pull their goaltender for the extra attacker but Avery Anderson and Nich McKee would both score on the empty net to seal the 4-0 win for the Flyers.

Malachi Klassen made 23 saves to earn the shutout while Dalton Andrew notched his 6th goal of the tournament in the win.

With a 2-0-0-1 record in pool play, the Flyers head into Tuesday on top of pool b with 7 points. Winkler caps off their preliminary round schedule on Tuesday night when they take on the Maritime Hockey League champion, Miramichi Timberwolves.