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Eight Oil Caps compete at Prospects Showcase

Several members of the Virden Oil Capitals put their skills and hard work on display last week.

Eight players competed in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League Top Prospects Showcase on Nov. 15-16. The Portage event featured six teams of top MJHL talent competing in front of scouts from higher levels of hockey.

“It was a fun couple of days for sure,” Virden head coach Tyson Ramsey said. “Getting to know and work with other coaches and players is always a cool experience. Our guys got to showcase to the rest of the league and scouts in attendance and I thought all our guys played very well.”

Ramsey coached one of the teams and Oil Caps athletic therapist Dana Warrener was a member of the staff at the event. In some Showcase games, players found themselves competing against teammates. For Oil Capitals David and Joey Bielik, it was brother versus brother.

“Most of our hockey experiences have been shared together, so it was cool to be able to play against each other rather than together in an event like that,” David Bielik said. “We were able to have lots of our family being there to watch and take in the action, which made it that much better.

“And then being able to play against the guys from our team was much the same. We come to the rink every day and have a very close group this year, so it was cool to see the other side to that by playing on opposite sides.”

David Bielik’s 20U Black team, which included Oil Caps teammate Josh Lehto, was the lone squad to go 2-0 at the Showcase. Against 20U White, including Joey Bielik and Colten Miller, it won 3-2. David Bielik and Lehto each had an assist in a 5-2 win over 20U Grey.

“I think our team was able to do well in both our games by keeping our structure simple,” David Bielik said. “With having lots of guys from different teams and many varieties of playing styles, I think the message from our coaches was to stick to your own game, not over complicate our play, and always work hard and we seemed to be able to find the back of the net. It was a great couple of days. It was an exciting event to be a part of and nice to get the two wins.”

Ethan Guthrie had an assist in each game he played for 18U White, which included teammate Nolan Chastko. The team lost to 18U Black, 4-1, and beat them, 8-3.

“It was very fun and a great experience,” Guthrie said. “I was honoured to represent our team and very appreciative of the MJHL for putting it on. It was great to play with new players and learn new things from different coaches.”

Oil Caps goalie Owen LaRocque shared time in net for 18U Black. In one game, he made 16 saves on 17 shots. In the other contest, he stopped 14 of the 15 shots he faced, according to the MJHL website last week. LaRocque had a .938 save percentage for the Showcase.

Ramsey coached Oil Caps forward Davis Chorney on the 20U Red squad. The team beat 20U White, 3-2, and fell 6-3 to 20U Grey.



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