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Oil Caps, Flyers winning on the road early on in round two

Home ice advantage has yet to kick in for the Virden Oil Capitals versus Winkler Flyers second round of playoffs in the Turnbull Cup series.
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Oil Caps face off against the Flyers in Virden, Dec 19. In this early season game, the Oil Caps win 2-1 on home ice.

The hosts have not been able to capitalize on the home ice advantage through the first four contests of the Virden Oil Capitals versus Winkler Flyers second-round playoff series.

Hometown product Eric Reid and the Virden squad posted a 4-0 shutout on the road in game one. In the second tilt, the Oil Caps fell 2-1 at home. The Virden squad then beat the Flyers, 4-1, in Winkler.

The Oil Caps, leading 2-1, were hoping to stop the road team winning streak in Virden on Thursday when game four was played, however through three periods the score was tied 4-4 with Winkler scoring in the second overtime, again putting the Oil Caps behind on home ice.

Game five of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League series is Saturday in Winkler. If needed, the sixth game would be Monday in Virden with the seventh being played in Winkler on Wednesday.

Game Three

Oil Caps 4, Flyers 1

In the first period on April 9 in Winkler, Virden’s own Bryce Bryant scored to give his team a 1-0 first period lead. Powerplay goals by Josh Lehto and Joey Bielik extended Virden’s lead to 3-0 heading into the third. The Oil Caps allowed one Winkler goal in the final frame and added one more themselves, which was scored by Brett Sabel. Defenceman Trevor Hunt finished with two assists.

Game Two

Flyers 2, Oil Caps 1

On April 7, the host Oil Capitals scored in the first period on a Roux Bazin powerplay goal. The Flyers got a goal from Jayce Leegarden in the second, with the man advantage, and one from Avery Anderson in the third.

“I thought we were sluggish to start the game and allowed them to press us pretty hard and get in on top of our defence,” Virden head coach Tyson Ramsey said. “It was nice to score on the powerplay to get the lead but then we needed to take advantage of the powerplays in the first and some real good chances five-on-five throughout the first part of the game to increase that lead and put pressure on them. We let them hang around and once they got their powerplay goal that created some momentum for them, and we weren't able to wrestle it back. We had chances to tie the game in the third, but I didn't think we were hard enough around their net.”

Virden was one-for-four on the powerplay, Winkler was one-for-two. Reid made 25 saves. Titans goalie Malachi Klassen stopped 18 shots.

Game One

Oil Caps 4, Flyers 0

Reid and the Oil Capitals did not give the Titans’ crowd of 1,184 much to cheer about on April 5. The Virden goalie turned away all 22 shots he faced.

“I prepared like I always do to help give my team a chance to win,” Reid said. “The shutout was a nice reward of the way our team played in front of me.”

In the second period Nolan Chastko opened the game’s scoring. In the third, Evan Groening found the back of net on a powerplay just 44 seconds into the frame. Grady Lane and Layton Veitch scored later in the period. Klassen made 28 saves.

“I thought we played maybe our best game of the season in game one,” Ramsey said. “We were structured, we competed from start to finish, our special teams were very good and Eric played a great game. Certainly nice to win the first game of a series, especially on the road.”

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