The Virden Oil Capitals were victorious in two of their three contests last week.
They were shut out by the Winkler Flyers, 3-0, on Nov. 8, rebounded to beat the OCN Blizzard 3-1 the next night and downed the Dauphin Kings, 5-2, on Nov. 12.
“I really liked our compete level the last three or four games and I thought against OCN and, for most of the game, against Dauphin, we showed a willingness to stick to our game plan and structure,” Virden head coach Tyson Ramsey said. “Our consistency has taken a step forward over the last week or so. Certainly, some positive things to build on.”
It is a busy week for the 12-9-0-0 Oil Capitals with three games in as many days. The action starts on Friday with the team hosting Neepawa. On Saturday, the Oil Caps are in Neepawa before heading to Portage on Sunday.
“Our focus won't change,” Ramsey said of the upcoming slate of games. “We need to continue to try and be better every time out and take steps in the right direction in all areas of our game. A busy weekend for sure, but this is what we prepare for with all the extra stuff we do off the ice. Our guys will be ready.”
The Oil Caps used four third period goals to beat the host Dauphin Kings, 5-2. Virden led 1-0 at the intermissions thanks to a Trevor Hunt goal. Dauphin tied the contest at 1-1 in the third, but captain Brody Wilson put his squad ahead 2-1. After the Kings knotted the game at 2-2, the Oil Caps closed out the contest with three goals. Hunt scored his second goal of the night. Andrew Blocker and Colten Miller also lit the lamp. Oil Caps goalie Eric Reid turned away 28 of the 30 shots he faced.
Blake Boudreau had both of the Kings’ goals. Cole Sheffield made 30 saves for Dauphin.
Defenceman Nolan Wallace’s first goal of the season and Nicholas Guberman’s ninth staked the Oil Capitals to a 2-0 first period lead at home against OCN. The Blizzard got one goal back in the second period thanks to Ashton Paul. Miller added a goal for Virden in the third. Reid made 26 saves in the win in front of 961. For OCN, Ethan Farrow stopped 36 of the 39 shots he faced.
Davis Chorney was the Gardewine Hardest Working Player. Reid was the Twin Valley Co-op first star, while Miller and Nolan Wallace were second and third, respectively.
The command team from the Canadian Forces Base Shilo Base – commander, Lieutenant-Colonel Christopher Wood and Base Regimental Sergeants Major, Chief Warrent Officer Jeremy Abrahamse - participated in the evening’s ceremonial puck drop. Scott Fefchak of the RCMP and Curtis Smith of the Wallace District Fire Department also participated in pre-game festivities.
The Oil Caps were unable to get any of their 24 shots past Winkler goalie Aidan Comeau on Nov. 8 with 740 looking on. After a scoreless first period, the Flyers scored once in the second and twice in the third. Oil Caps netminder Owen LaRocque stopped 22 shots for the home team.
Wilson was the Gardewine Hardest Working Player. LaRocque was named the third star. Comeau was the first star, while teammate Trent Sambrook was the second. He had two assists. Scoring for Winkler were Cole Mackenzie, Trent Penner, and Zach Nicolas.
Nineteen-year-old forward Roux Bazin has returned to the Oil Caps. The skilled forward had five points in eight games in 2020-2021 for the Oil Caps during the COVID-19 pandemic shortened campaign. Bazin split last season between the United States Hockey League’s Cedar Rapids (Iowa) Roughriders and two North American Hockey League teams – the Jamestown (N.Y.) Rebels and the Chippewa (Chippewa Falls, Wisc.) Steel. He had 11 points and two goals in 46 games.
After the Empire-Advance deadline, the MJHL held a Prospects Showcase on Tuesday and Wednesday. The event in Portage pitted six teams of top players against each other in front of coaches and scouts from higher levels of hockey.
According to the rosters released as of Sunday, the following Oil Caps were slated to participate: 20U Black – David Bielik, Josh Lehto; 20U Red – Davis Chorney, coach Tyson Ramsey; 20U White – Joey Bielik, Miller; 18U Black –LaRocque; and 18U White – Ethan Guthrie; Nolan Chastko.