The Virden Oil Capitals have punched their ticket to the postseason.
Last week the team won two of its three contests to earn a spot in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League playoffs. As of Sunday, the Oil Caps had a 28-22-2-2 record and sat sixth in the MJHL standings.
While the Virden squad is in the playoffs for sure, there are still important regular season games to be played. After this past weekend, the Oil Caps had six games remaining. With 60 points in the standings, Virden was just one point away from the fifth place Waywayseecappo Wolverines (61 points). The Oil Caps held a three-point lead on the seventh place Dauphin Kings (57 points).
After playing the Winnipeg Blues on the road on Tuesday, Virden hosts Neepawa on Friday and the capital city club on Saturday.
Oil Caps 4, Steelers 2
Virden grabbed a 2-1 first period lead and added a goal in each of the next two periods to post the victory on Feb. 11. Four different players lit the lamp for the Oil Caps: Jack Einarson, Owen Blocker, Jayden Wojciechowski, and Hunter Andrew, who capped the contest with an empty net marker. Kyle Kozma made 30 saves for Virden, while Selkirk netminder Rory Dumelie fended off 24 of the 27 he faced.
Oil Caps 3, Terriers 2
Virden goalie Ethan Peterson held off an onslaught of shots from the second-place Portage Terriers to backstop his squad to a Thursday victory. He made 47 saves on 49 shots.
Meanwhile, Colin Cook, Kolten Kanaski, and Andrew provided the goals for Virden. After a 1-1 first period, Virden went up 3-1 in the second. Peterson stopped 16 of Portage’s 17 third period shots. Terriers goalie Nathan Moore had 24 saves.
Pistons 7, Oil Caps 5
The red light was on a lot on Saturday night in Steinbach as the teams combined for 12 goals. Virden led 2-1 in the first period, but the league-leading Pistons outscored the visitors, 4-1, in the second. Two of those goals came on the powerplay. Steinbach, which led 5-3 going into the third, was four-for-four on the powerplay on the night.
Drayson Collyer led the Oil Caps with two goals. Also scoring for Virden were Brett Paddock, Jaxon Heeney, and Kanski. Peterson made 30 saves on 37 shots. His Steinbach counterpart, Matt Lentz, had 28 saves.