The Virden Oil Capitals are seeking consistency after splitting their four games last week.
Last weekend the Manitoba Junior Hockey League team beat Selkirk, 6-4, at home on Friday with captain Kolten Kanaski scoring twice.
On Sunday, the team fell at Tundra Oil & Gas Place, 5-2, to Portage, the undefeated league leader.
As reported in last week’s Empire-Advance, the Oil Caps split their games at the MJHL Showcase – beating OCN, 4-2, and falling to Portage, 5-1.
As of Sunday, Virden was 5-2-1-1 and in fourth place in the league.
“I thought our team was real good at times last week and then there were times we struggled,” Virden head coach Tyson Ramsey said. “Our offence has been pretty steady with the exception being against Portage where we can’t seem to capitalize on chances. We generated quality chances in both games against the Terriers but only scored three times in two games.
“Our defence corps has taken some noticeable strides forward; however, special teams have been a bit of a concern.”
The first-year bench boss said the Oil Capitals need to strive for consistency in their game.
“The only way to do that is to make sure we compete hard on and off the ice and make a commitment to getting better every day. We have a busy week against some good teams, so we will need to be prepared.”
The Oil Caps were to play in Selkirk on Tuesday and host Waywayseecappo on Thursday. This weekend the team is in OCN for games on Saturday and Sunday.
Joining the Oil Caps were Owen Blocker and Nolan Dawson. A former Oil Caps draft pick, the 19-year-old Blocker spent the past three seasons in the Western Hockey League, mostly with Swift Current. He has been reassigned to Virden. On the team’s website, Ramsey said that Blocker “is skilled and fast and plays the game with grit and hard work.”
Dawson was obtained from Alberta’s Olds Grizzlies for a player development fee. The 20-year-old forward had previously played for OCN. On the Oil Caps website, Ramsey said of the veteran: “He can play in all situations and adds a heaviness to our lineup which we were looking for.” Dawson had two points in his first game with the team.
The Oil Caps released 19-year-old forward Riker Franczak, who plans to play Junior B in Alberta. They traded 20-year-old forward Parker Brakebill to the expansion Wisconsin Lumberjacks, a Spooner-based team in the Superior International Hockey League.
The team was pleased both players could go to places where they will play more. Franczak had recently joined the team, while Brakebill, a second-year player from California, won the team’s community-minded award last season.