The new year didn't start in the same manner that 2016 finished for the Central Plains Capitals.
After winning six of their final seven games to surge into the Christmas break, the male midget Capitals fell 5-2 to the Winnipeg Thrashers in resuming their Manitoba AAA Midget Hockey League campaign on Saturday at the BDO Centre in Portage la Prairie.
Dylan Burton scored twice, while Jacy Kennedy and Curtis Rebeck also found the net as part of a four-goal third period outburst for the Thrashers, which broke a 1-1 deadlock through 40 minutes. Duncan Pierce also tallied for Winnipeg. Reilly Funk and Dawson Braun had the Capitals' goals.
Funk gave Central Plains a 1-0 late in the first period. The Thrashers equalized in the final minute of the second, as Pierce beat Miles Minor to knot the game 1-1.
Winnipeg then took a commanding 5-1 lead with four goals in a span of just 10:14 to start the third. After Burton notched a power play marker 5:45 into the period, Kennedy made it 3-1 just 36 seconds later. Rebeck scored the Thrashers' third goal in just over a minute to put his team up three. Burton tallied his second of the period shortly past the midway mark to make it 5-1.
Braun responded to cut Winnipeg's lead to 5-2, but Zachary Bennett was steady in Winnipeg's crease throughout the rest of the third, turning away the 17 other shots that came his way.
Bennett made 36 saves in the win, while Minor stopped 24 taking the loss. Central Plains outshot Winnipeg 38-29 while going 1 for 5 on the power play; Winnipeg finished 1 for 5 too.
The Capitals (19-11-0-1) are right back at it Sunday, they head on the road to face the Eastman Selects (13-13-0-2). Eastman won the only prior meeting between the two clubs this season, 2-1 back on Oct. 23.