One of the reasons why the Virden Oil Capitals traded for goalie Ethan Peterson was because he was a proven playoff performer.
Last season he helped backstop the Portage Terriers to Manitoba Junior Hockey League and ANAVET Cup championships. Peterson was displaying similar form in this postseason. In Virden’s first game of the playoffs, the netminder, who turned 21 last week, made 58 saves to shut out the Winkler Flyers and help propel the Oil Caps to a 1-0 double overtime victory. In game three, he made 28 saves on 29 shots in Virden’s 7-1 win as the Oil Caps took a 2-1 series lead.
“Playoff hockey to me is the best time of the year,” Peterson said. “The rink is always packed, and the games are very intense.”
Unfortunately, Peterson will not be able to perform any more postseason heroics for the Oil Caps. The COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic forced the cancellation of the MJHL playoffs.
Acquired in November, the 6-foot-2, 195-pounder had 11 wins in 18 regular season games with Virden. Peterson posted a 3.55 goals against average and a .900 save percentage.
“Ethan has really brought a confidence to our group since he arrived,” Virden head coach Tyson Ramsey said. “His ability to take control of a game when we get outplayed has been a real good thing, particularly for our young defence. His experience and winning pedigree are important for us … He is a leader in our room and we are certainly fortunate to have him in our lineup.”
Hailing from Park River, N.D., Peterson played U18 hockey with the Iowa Wild program as a 17-year-old and saw action in one game with the Austin (Minn.) Bruins of the North American Hockey League. He split his MJHL rookie season between and Swan Valley. Last season Peterson played for the Terriers and the NAHL’s Corpus Christi (Texas) IceRays. He started this campaign in Neepawa before the Oil Caps brought him to town.
“Playing in different places through my career has helped me in many ways,” Peterson said. “Playing on a handful of different teams has given me the chance to play under many different situations developing me into the player I am today. With each team, it has been exciting getting to interact with the communities I’ve had the chance to play for.”
He enjoyed wrapping up his junior career in Virden.
“I really love the atmosphere that the community brings to the rink every night,” Peterson said. “It makes the game that much more fun.”
He plans to go on to university to study business. As well, Peterson will continue being a fishing guide at Minnesota’s Cyrus Resort on Lake of the Woods.