The Oil Capitals are on the road in Portage on Friday. The team returns home Saturday to take on the Winkler Flyers.
The Virden Oil Capitals earned three out of a possible six points last week with an overtime win, a shootout loss, and a regulation loss. The Oil Capitals were 2-3-0-2 after the weekend.
On the road on Saturday, Virden earned a big 2-1 overtime victory over a Waywayseecappo team that has turned heads early this season and was tied for second place in the MJHL after the weekend. Second-year forward Jack Einarson was the hero as he lit the lamp just 54 seconds into overtime.
The Oil Caps grabbed a 1-0 lead when Hunter Cloutier scored on a power play late in the first period. Virden held the Wolverines at bay in the second, but the hosts tied up the game 1-1 in the third.
Virden goalie Dalton Dosch made 22 saves. For the Wolverines, Isaac Labelle stopped 25 shots.
Last Thursday, it was Waywayseecappo winning in an extended game. Trygve Many Guns scored in the shootout, which gave the Wolverines a 3-2 victory.
After a scoreless first period, Virden (with Josh Belcher scoring shorthanded) and Waywayseecappo each had a goal in the second. The Wolverines went ahead 2-1 in the third, but Tristan Thompson scored on a power play to send the game to overtime and earn his team a point in the standings.
Riley Wallace of Oak Lake stopped 26 of the 28 shots he faced in regulation and overtime for the Oil Capitals in front of 772 fans. Labelle had 28 saves. Leslie said the loss motivated the team for Saturday’s tilt.
“I thought that fueled the fire a little bit.”
A big third period propelled the Swan Valley Stampeders past the Oil Capitals last Tuesday in Swan River. The game was tied 2-2 after one period and Virden led 3-2 at the second intermission. The Stampeders scored four unanswered goals in the final session to prevail, 6-3.
“It’s a period we’d definitely want to have back,” Leslie said.
Virden’s own Tanner Andrew scored his first goal of the season for the Oil Capitals. Cloutier and Kanaski also had goals for Virden. Quintin Sudom scored a hat trick and had five points for Swan Valley. Dosch made 22 saves, while Stampeders netminder Michael Davis had 29.
The Virden Oil Capitals have swung a trade to bring Deloraine forward McCullough Park back to Virden. The squad received Park from the OCN Blizzard in exchange for the rights to prospect Jesse Tkach, a forward who is playing midget AAA with the Winnipeg Bruins.
Two seasons ago, the now 19-year-old Park played two games with Virden while in his final season with the midget AAA Southwest Cougars. Last year he went to training camp with Virden before being swapped to Dauphin for defenceman Darren Gisti, who was later sent to Waywayseecappo in a deal that brought Landyn Cochrane to the Oil Caps. Park had six goals and 16 points in 53 games last season.
“I’m very excited to get things going back here in Virden, as I know that this is a great place to play,” Park said on the team’s website. “I’m looking forward to getting things going and meeting some of the guys. We have a solid team and I think I can make a difference here.”
The Oil Caps sent 18-year-old forward Sean Gula to his hometown Red Lake Miners of the Superior International Junior Hockey League. The team received a player development fee in return.