Virden Oil Capitals homegrown forward Tanner Andrew has earned the opportunity to play U.S. college hockey at its highest level.
The son of Brock and Andrea Andrew announced his commitment last week to play for the Rochester Institute of Technology men’s hockey team. The RIT Tigers compete at the NCAA Division I level. They played in the Frozen Four in 2010.
“I chose RIT because of the amazing business school they have along with an awesome hockey program that is very successful,” Andrews said.
The skilled forward’s first season at RIT will be the 2020-2021 campaign. He has 54 points and 25 goals in 47 games this season for the Oil Caps.
“Tanner has really improved his game this year, all around,” Virden head coach Tyson Ramsey said in a media release. “The offensive side of his game has flourished this year, his speed and skill are elite, and obviously he has the ability to contribute offensively. But also, he has continued to build the defensive side of his game in all three zones enabling him to have really improved his all-around game.”
The 19-year-old Andrew, who is in his second full season with the Oil Caps, praised the Manitoba Junior Hockey League organization for helping him develop his game.
“Playing in Virden has given me the opportunity to excel and succeed in junior hockey. They’ve helped me make a name for myself and I’m very grateful for that.”
RIT is located in Henrietta, a town in the Rochester, N.Y. metropolitan area. RIT has about 19,047 students. Andrew said:
“The campus is very nice, and everything is so close together, which makes everything very easy.”
OIL CAPS SIXTH PLACE
After going 0-3 last week, the Oil Caps sat in sixth place in the MJHL standings. The team’s 25-20-2-2 record gave it 54 points, as of Monday. Virden was two points behind fifth-place Waywayseecappo and three up on seventh-place Dauphin.
On Jan. 29, the Oil Caps fell 3-0 on the road to the Portage Terriers. Virden goalie Ethan Peterson stopped 33 of the 36 shots he faced. Two of the goals allowed came on the powerplay. Elkhorn’s Layne Toder recorded an assist for the Terriers.
Dauphin won 7-3 on Jan. 31 at TOGP. The Kings led 1-0 and 4-1 at the intermissions. Captain Kolten Kanaski, recently added forward Jaxon Heeney, and defenceman Logan Rands scored for Virden.
On Feb. 1, 1,259 fans packed the arena to cap the inaugural Virden Minor Hockey Day. The event featured local minor hockey teams from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., regional AAA squads playing in the afternoon, and the Oil Caps tangling with the Terriers at night. Virden fell 6-1. Owen Blocker had the Oil Caps’ goal.
After playing in Waywayseecappo (after press deadline, Tuesday) the Oil Caps are on the road against Swan Valley on Saturday. The next home game is Feb. 13 versus Portage.
Last week, 20-year-old Heeney joined the Oil Caps. The Forrest product played the last two seasons and much of this campaign with the Dauphin Kings. The 5-foot-10, 170-pounder had three points in 26 games this season with the Kings. Heeney scored in his second game with the Oil Capitals.