In front of 634 fans at the Tundra Oil and Gas Place, the Oil Capitals downed the visiting Waywayseecappo Wolverines, 7-4, to earn their first Manitoba Junior Hockey League victory of the season. By lighting the lamp seven times to the delight of the hometown fans, the Oil Capitals - in one game - surpassed the five goals they had accumulated in their first three outings of the young season.
“I think our guys made a commitment to focusing on the things we can control as a group,” Oil Caps head coach Tyson Ramsey said of the victory. “We stuck to our structure for most of the night, with the exception of a stretch in the third. It was a nice feeling to get our first win.”
The night before the Wolverines beat the Oil Capitals, 7-2, in Waywayseecappo. The Virden team enters this week with a 1-3 record with the Wolverines having been the foe in each contest.
“I think we are getting better,” Ramsey said. “We have lots to learn and we need to stay focused on getting better each day.”
On Saturday night, Virden came out strong. The Oil Caps led 2-0 and 5-0 at the intermissions. The Wolverines outscored Virden, 4-2, in the third but the damage had been done.
Virden goalie Ryley Gross turned away all 21 shots he faced in the first two period en route to a 35-save performance. Eight Oil Capitals recorded a point. Dylan Halliday ad Braden Fischer each had two goals. That duo as well as Carson Buydens and Branden Huminuk each recorded three points on the night. Buydens, Huminuk and rookie Evan Groening had Virden’s other goals. Defencemen Logan Rands, the team’s captain, and Nolan Wallace, each recorded two assists.
Fischer posted five points on the weekend. That helped him earn recognition as a MJHL Star of the Week. Through four games, the forward from Winnipeg was second in the league with five goals. He placed fourth on the MJHL with eight points.
Fischer had a goal and an assist in Virden’s loss on Friday. At home, Waywayseecappo took a 3-0 first period lead. The Wolverines led 5-1 at the second intermission. Virden’s own Eric Reid stopped 34 of the 41 shots he faced for the Oil Caps. Groening had Virden’s first goal. Liam Tereposky made 29 saves for Waywayseecappo.
Buydens Goes Ivy
Oil Caps rookie forward Buydens has had a pretty good week. On Saturday, the 17-year-old from Gladstone scored his first MJHL goal. He collected three points in the Virden victory. On Tuesday night, the MJHL announced that Buydens had committed to study and play at Princeton University in the future. The prestigious New Jersey institution’s men’s hockey team competes at the NCAA Division I level, the highest in U.S. university sports. Of course, the Ivy League school is famed for its strong academic programs and successful alumni.