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Game 3 Centennial Cup Preview

By Ty Brooks


The Winkler Flyers are the champions of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League after sweeping the 47-8-3 Steinbach Pistons in the finals of the Turnbull Cup Playoffs. Winkler has been one of the better looking teams throughout this tournament so far, and it will be Oakville’s biggest challenge yet when they line up across from them. While their record so far might say 1-0-1, they’ve largely outchanced their opponents for those 125 minutes and have had that backed up by strong goaltending.


The threat is obvious with Winkler; they have 9 goals in 2 games, and 5 of them have come off of the same stick. Dalton Andrew, a 6’5” 205 lbs right winger has been terrorizing his opponents across his first two games with 5 goals and 7 points in such a short span. He was a large part of Winkler’s success in the regular season as well, topping the MJHL charts in the goals and points departments with 43-39-82 totals in just 54 games played. The University of North Dakota commit is a great player, and the Oakville Blades will have to keep him off the scoresheet as much as possible if they want a good result tonight.


Another area where the Flyers have been strong is in net. Malachi Klassen, a veteran of the MJHL, has been a steady presence on the backend through Winkler’s first two games. In the MJHL playoffs, he was crucial in helping secure the finals victory, only allowing 9 goals across the 4 games they played. While his first game was very strong, his last game was not as good, and the Blades may have picked up on a couple of things that they can do to try and keep their offence effective.


As for the Blades themselves, they’ll be in action for their 3rd game of 4 in this round robin. Sitting with a 1-1 record at the moment, this may be the most crucial game the team will play in terms of the standings. Win this, and a playoff berth comes much closer into reach. Lose this game, and it may just be the second last game they play during this tournament. Come out to the game at 7:30 PM tonight to cheer on the Blades; they need all the support we can give them. If you can’t make it out tonight, keep an eye on our Instagram for live game updates, including lineup changes, score updates, and goal videos as the game progresses. Lastly, but most importantly, Go Blades Go!