Winkler rallies to earn weekend sweep of Thief River Falls

THIEF RIVER FALLS, Minn. – The Winkler Flyers (MJHL) picked up a goal and an assist from Lucas Barker to help them rally from an early deficit and eventually skate to a 4-2 victory over the Thief River Falls Norskies Saturday in a Canadian Junior Hockey League preseason match-up at Ralph Engelstad Arena.

It was all Norskies in the opening 20 minutes as they skated out to a 2-0 lead on home ice.

Parker Simonson got things going for Thief River Falls six minutes into the contest before teammate Johnny Bennis connected on the power play in the latter stages of the stanza to put them up by a pair.

Winkler began their comeback with two tallies of their own in the middle stanza to knot the affair at 2-2 after two compliments of even strength efforts from Barker and Tyson Novakoski.

The Flyers then picked up the eventual game-winner with 6:49 remaining in regulation as Barker set-up Max Daerendinger during a man advantage opportunity.

From there the Norskies would pull starter Brock Lefebvre in the late going in an effort to tie it and force overtime, but Winkler’s Griffin Leonard iced it with an empty netter with a half minute to go to round out the night’s scoring.

Aaron Brunn turned in a solid performance in the Flyers’ net making 40 saves overall to record the win.

Lefebvre meanwhile faced 36 shots in defeat for Thief River Falls.

The Norskies will be back at it Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. when they host another MJHL side, in the Selkirk Steelers, back at The Ralph.