Story by Dave Anthony
Players have made their way to town, exhibition games are complete and coaches are optimistic with sights set high, it’s time to start the new season!
We asked each head coach a number of questions as they prepare for the season and here’s what they had to say!
Winkler Flyers: 2020/21 (3-5-0-0)
Leading scorers: Tanner Andrew (4g, 4ast for 8pts), Ian Tookenay (4g, 3ast for 7pts)
Key graduating players: Tanner Andrew, Ian Tookenay
Season outlook: The Winkler Flyers have changed just about everything over the last couple of seasons including an updated logo/branding and a brand new hockey operations staff from the top down, including the hiring of former NHL veterans Justin Falk and Ryan White. There’s no question a new era has begun in southern Manitoba but familiar faces on the ice should help guide the Flyers in the right direction. Although plenty has changed over the last two seasons, fans should expect a highly competitive team in the Pembina valley this fall.
Q & A with Flyers Coach & General Manager, Justin Falk
Question: Which team are you most looking forward to developing/continuing a rivalry with?
Answer: The with the Steinbach Pistons and the Portage Terriers where visiting fans can attend the games.
Q: What kind of team can fans expect?
A: This line-up will bring their lunch pail every day with attention to details and discipline within our structure, systems as we establish a culture in our Flyers Organization.
Q: Which returning player should fans be really excited to see?
A: Fans should be excited to see returning players and offensive standouts Jayden McCarthy and Justin Svenson. On the backend mobile puck moving defensemen Trent Sambrook as well as the physical big body presence of Cole Mackenzie and Kyle Crewe. Adding to the front end dynamic winger Gavin Waltz and two way forwards Jackson Arpin and Trent Penner while leading a young crop of talent in Nick McKee and Brody Beauchemin. In between the pipes, local product Dylan Meilun
Q: Is there a new player that fans will come to love?
A: For a fan that appreciates the small details from a player that will do whatever it takes, wherever it takes, whenever it’s needed on a given night, Josh Beauchemin.
Q: What are you most looking forward to about this upcoming season?
A: As a staff, we are excited at the opportunity for growth in each individual player in the first half of the season and its incorporation into creating our culture and identity. As well as their involvement in the Southern Manitoba communities and the growth of these young men through various experiences away from the rink.
Q: Which visiting arena are you most looking forward to playing in again?
A: Swan Valley Stampeders. Old stomping grounds in the Corral.
Q: On the road, which restaurant are you most looking forward to eating at for pre or post game meal?
Q: What movie do you hope the team puts on for a long bus ride home after a big win?
A: I don’t know if these guys own any DVD’s so it might have to be Happy Gilmore.
Q: Do you have your first game suit all picked out already? What color will it be? What color is the tie? Shoes?
A: Any suit that goes with brown shoes.