Good defence helped the Virden Oil Capitals ignite offensively last week.
In the Manitoba Junior Hockey League team’s lone contest, the Oil Caps trailed 2-1 at home last Friday to the Selkirk Steelers. The hosts lit the lamp five times in the second period en route to an 8-4 victory.
“I thought, actually our team defence allowed us to be better offensively particularly in the middle part of the game,” head coach Tyson Ramsey said. “I thought in the first period we got caught on the wrong side of the puck too much and gave up way too many outnumbered situations.
“Once we were more structured in our own zone and through the neutral zone, we were much better. Also, I have to mention our goaltender (recently acquired Ethan Peterson). He was solid in his debut and we are very lucky to have him in our lineup.”
The 20-year-old from Park River stopped 26 of the 30 shots he faced. The eight players who scored for Virden were Tanner Andrew, Tristan Thompson, Hunter Cloutier, Josh Belcher, Nathan McInnis, Bradyn Smelski, Jayden Wojciechowski, and Kolten Kanaski.
Two Oil Caps received MJHL honours for November. Kanaski, the team’s captain, was named the league’s RBC Player of the Month after compiling 20 points, with seven goals, in 11 games.
Virden netminder Kyle Kozma won the MGEU Goaltender of the Month award and was an honourable mention for IBAM Rookie of the Month. He had a 5-1 record with a 1.78 goals against average and a .936 save percentage.
The Oil Caps swung a pair of deals to add 18-year-old forward Drayson Collyer. This season the Brandon product had played in 12 games between the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League’s Kindersley Klippers and Flin Flon Bombers. Virden received his Canadian Junior Hockey League rights from the Klippers and his MJHL rights from Swan Valley. Both were attained for future considerations.
The Oil Capitals (14-12-1-2, as of Monday) are on the road this week. They were to play in Steinbach on Wednesday, Winkler on Friday, and Dauphin on Sunday.
On Dec. 12, the Oil Caps are back home taking on Waywayseecappo for the Virden Truck & Trailer Teddy Bear Toss and the Valleyview Co-Op Tin for the Bin. The Virden Collegiate Institute band is slated to play Christmas carols between periods.