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Reid developing with hometown Oil Caps

Rookie Eric Reid has greatly enjoyed suiting up this season for his hometown Virden Oil Capitals.

 

“It is a great honour to wear an Oil Caps jersey and play in my hometown having grown up watching the team since they came to Virden,” the goaltending son of Rochelle and Kent Reid said. “To be able to play in front of the familiar faces of family, friends and my community every night is special. It gives me an extra boost as I want to give the hometown crowd my best every time I play.”

This week Reid and the Oil Capitals are slated to head back into action after the Manitoba Junior Hockey League’s Christmas break. The squad hosts the Portage Terriers on Friday and then travel to play the Dogs on the road the next night. At the MJHL break, Virden had a 14-14-2-0 record.

“I think the most satisfying part of the first half has been the development of our group as a whole,” Virden head coach Tyson Ramsey said. “I think if you look at our team from the first weekend to now you will see a big improvement in our compete and how fast we are able to play. Our guys have worked extremely hard, and I am looking very much forward to the second half.”

This season Reid, a 5-foot-11, 163-pounder netminder, has six wins, a 3.07 goals against average and a .903 save percentage. Ramsey has witnessed the 18-year-old’s development this season.

“The most impressive thing about Eric is his work ethic on and off the ice as well as his dedication to getting better each day,” Ramsey said. “He is a student of his position … Our team has developed a confidence in him...”

In Reid’s last five appearances before the Christmas break, the goalie earned four wins. From Nov. 27 to Dec. 10, he had two shutouts and allowed only two goals over four games.

“Individual accomplishments in team sports don't happen without your teammates,” Reid said. “The shutouts were awesome, but they wouldn't have happened without the play of the guys in those games. To shut out any team in this league is difficult and we'll use them as experiences to build on going into the second half of the season and the run to the playoffs.”

After playing minor hockey in Virden, Reid developed his game with the U15 AAA Southwest Cougars. He spent a season on the Virden Collegiate Institute high school hockey team before joining the Southwest Cougars U18 AAA team. Regarding moving up to the junior level from U18 AAA as a goalie, Reid said:

“The biggest difference is the margin for error shrinks. The shots in junior come a lot quicker and harder, and they are more accurate. You have less time to get into position and if you are out even a little it's in the net. In junior we get to practice every day and the team is together a lot more than in U18 AAA, which is definitely a benefit. “

Reid praises his parents for their support of his hockey career.

“I owe everything to my family,” Reid said. “From buying equipment to tying my skates to traveling all over the country over the years and never missing a game. My family has been a huge support every step of the way. They are a pretty great billet family too.”

Trade

On Monday, the Oil Caps announced they acquired 20-year-old forward Beau Larson for future considerations. The 5-foot-8, 150-pounder from Val Marie, Sask. had four goals and 12 points in 16 games with the Weyburn Red Wings of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League this season.