With that home victory and a 3-1 loss in Dauphin last week, the Oil Capitals sported a 3-3-1-0 record in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League, as of Monday. What allowed the Oil Caps to shut out the Wolverines?
“I thought we were able to stick to our game plan and battled through some moments in the game where our execution wasn't great,” Virden head coach Tyson Ramsey said. “Also, when you shut a team out your goaltender plays well and Eric Reid was very good.”
Reid made 22 saves in last week’s win. The Oil Capitals sent 38 shots at Waywayseecappo netminder Marek Andres, who stopped all but one. Joey Bielik scored the game’s lone goal on a powerplay.
Bielik’s goal was assisted by Luke Robson and Nolan Chastko. It was Robson’s debut with the Oil Caps after joining the team earlier in the week from the Western Hockey League’s Seattle Thunderbirds. The Oil Caps picked up Robson’s Junior A rights from Waywayseecappo in the offseason.
“He is an elite skater that has a ton of skill and an ability to play in all situations for us,” Ramsey said on the team’s website about the forward from Carberry. “He is a great faceoff guy and can score. Not only is he a great player, he is an outstanding young man and we are very lucky to have him here.”
Against Waywayseecappo, Bielik was the Twin Valley Co-op first star of the game. Reid was the second star and his Wolverines counterpart, Andres, was the third. Trevor Hunt was the Gardewine Hardest Working Player. With Owen LaRocque nursing an injury, Kenton’s Connor Rapley of the U18 AAA Yellowhead Chiefs was the Oil Caps’ backup goalie.
On Oct. 3 in Dauphin, Josh Lehto gave Virden a 1-0 lead just less than six minutes into the game. The Kings scored two straight goals, with Logan Walker and Gabriel Bugeaud doing the honours, to lead 2-1 at the first intermission. Jordan Bax added a goal in second to make it 3-1 for the Kings. Reid stopped 35 of the 38 shots that came his way. Austin Kindrat of the U18 AAA Winnipeg Thrashers backed up Reid. Cole Sheffield had 27 saves for Dauphin.
“I thought we were very inconsistent,” Ramsey said. “We struggled at times to get the puck out of our end of the rink and that led to some mistakes. We did not put enough pressure on their goaltender until late in the game and by then it was too little too late.”
The Oil Caps were slated to play in Portage on Wednesday after the Empire-Advance deadline. The squad is on the road Saturday to take on the Winnipeg Blues, who Virden’s Jack Smith plays for. The Oil Caps’ next home game is Oct. 30 versus Swan Valley.
CATCHING UP WITH
Taylor Fisher (2013-2015) is an associate in Regina with MNP’s Corporate Finance group. He focuses on mergers and acquisitions in the middle market and is pursuing a CPA designation. Regarding his time in Virden, the Winnipeg product said:
“The community was super supportive and the fans were always loud and passionate. And of course, I was blessed to have great teammates and coaches that made coming to the rink a blast every day.”
After his two seasons with Virden, the defenceman suited up for two seasons in Selkirk. He then played at the University of Lethbridge. Fisher is now in the senior hockey ranks in Grenfell.