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Sabel, Veitch centre Oil Caps

Coach says these centres are fast and physical.

While Layton Veitch came from near and Brett Sable from far to play junior hockey, both have key roles in the middle of the ice for the Virden Oil Capitals.

Veitch hails from Rivers and developed his game with the regional U18 AAA Yellowhead Chiefs. Sabel is from Fond du Lac, Wisc. and captained his high school team last season. The pair are 18-year-old centremen for the Manitoba Junior Hockey League squad.

“They are driven by their work ethic,” Oil Capitals head coach Tyson Ramsey said. “They play a hard game and when they are fast and physical, they defend well and cause the opposition to turn pucks over up ice. They are both a big part of our penalty kill, which has gotten better over the last couple weeks.”

Against the Steinbach Pistons, one of the league’s top teams, on Jan. 15, Sabel scored the contest’s first goal. Veitch netted the game-winner in a 3-2 victory.

“They have really played well since the break, and it was nice to see them rewarded with some points,” Ramsey said.

Veitch had two goals and two assists through 25 games. The 5-foot-10, 160-pounder has already matched the four points he posted in 30 games as a rookie last season.

“My second year has been different in many ways. I feel like I have gotten more confidence from playing in the league before and just more responsibility in different situations, which is awesome,” said Veitch, who was listed as day to day on Monday after getting hit with a puck last Friday.

The Oil Capitals reached out last year to Sable about coming north to continue his hockey career.

“The things I heard about playing in the MJHL and for the Virden Oil Capitals team, along with the conversations I had with Coach Ramsey, made it seem like the right choice for me,” he said. “I heard about how great the Oil Capitals organization was and how great the community was made my decision easier.”

Coming from the U.S. high school and U18 North American Prospect League ranks, Sable said the speed of the MJHL game is faster, and the competition is more intense. The 5-foot-11, 169-pound forward has three goals and six points through 35 games with the Oil Caps this season.

While they came from different places, both Sable and Veitch are enjoying their time in Virden. For the second season, Veitch is pleased to billet with Murray and Cheryl Foster.

Regarding this season, Veitch noted, “I would say what I’ve enjoyed is the fan base, the coaches and how our team has persevered this year and really became a team that can beat anyone in the league. It’s awesome and when we can do that with a great group of guys, it’s even better.”
Sabel stays with Dave and Lynette Jordan, who he described as caring and very supportive. Of his time so far with the Oil Capitals, Sable said, “I enjoy the team, the fans, and the community. I appreciate the support that we get from the organization and the community.”


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