Carson Pawlenchuk scored the game-winner with thirteen minutes remaining to lift the Winkler Flyers past the Steinbach Pistons 6-3 Monday afternoon at the TG Smith Centre.
The Flyers ended the Pistons’ mini five-game win streak with the win while also ending their eleven-game losing skid versus Steinbach dating back to January 9, 2018.
Winkler goalie Dorrin Luding picked up the win as he stopped 33 of 36 shots, while Dante Giannuzzi made 29 saves and was tagged with the loss.
It was Winkler that got off to a good early start and took the lead two minutes into the game on a goal by Jackson Arpin. But Steinbach responded five minutes later on a fortunate bounce. Zach Purcell sprung Kyle Bettens on a breakaway, and Bettens undressed Luding but hit the post. The puck slid underneath Luding’s pad and was carried into the goal by the Winkler goaltender, making it 1-1 on Bettens’ 7th goal of the season.
The crowd was treated to a good tilt just before the end of the first period, as Jackson Kobelka and Cameron Critch of the Flyers dropped the gloves in a spirited bout.
All of the action in the second period came with under five minutes to go. Steinbach took the lead as Ty Naaykens cut around a Flyer d-man and tucked the puck past the pad of Luding for a 2-1 advantage. Dylan Cassie notched the only assist on Naaykens’ 5th goal on the campaign.
That lead was short lived as defenceman Nathan Poolman notched two goals 56 seconds apart to give Winkler a 3-2 lead after 40 minutes of play.
Codey Behun quickly equalized for Steinbach, taking a pass from Kyle Bettens behind the goal and he ripped it past Luding for his 10th goal of the season 4:36 into the third period.
After Behun’s marker it was all Flyers, as they took the lead once again on a backhand goal by Pawlenchuk to give Winkler a 4-3 lead. The Pistons couldn’t generate many chances and took a penalty late in the third, giving the Flyers a chance to seal the deal. They didn’t mess around and gave themselves a two-goal lead on a picture perfect shot by Sulivan Shortreed with 2:46 to go.
Jayden McCarthy added an empty-netter with 1:22 left to give Winkler a 6-3 victory.
Both teams were pretty disciplined throughout the contest. The Pistons went 0 for 2 on the man advantage while the Flyers connected once on three attempts.
UP NEXT: The Pistons will look to get back in the win column Wednesday night, as they continue their four-game homestand against the Portage Terriers. You can purchase tickets for that game one hour prior to puck drop at the ticket gate, or online at Steinbachpistons.ca/tickets.