The Virden Oil Capitals split their games last week.
On Nov. 21, the team won its third straight contest with a 5-1 win over the Steinbach Pistons. The next night the Oil Caps rallied but fell 3-2 to the Waywayseecappo Wolverines. As of Sunday, Virden sported a 13-12-1-2 record and, with 29 points, sat seventh in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League standings.
The Oil Caps have picked up 20-year-old goaltender Ethan Peterson from the Neepawa Natives in exchange for prospect Brandon Ambrozik of the U18 Winnipeg Thrashers and a player development fee. Last winter Peterson helped the Portage Terriers win a MJHL championship and the ANAVET Cup as well as competing in the National Junior A Championship. This season the Park River, N.D. product had a 4.26 goals against average with the Natives.
The Oil Capitals used a three-goal third period outburst against Steinbach to turn a 2-1 lead into a 5-1 victory in front of 963 fans. Virden netminder Kyle Kozma stopped 35 of the 36 shots he faced.
“I thought our game against Steinbach was probably our most complete effort of the season,” Virden head coach Tyson Ramsey. “We were structured and played fast. We defended well and got good goaltending. We stuck with the game plan and were rewarded. I was proud of our group.”
Hunter Cloutier led the way for the Oil Caps with two goals and an assist. Also scoring for Virden were Dylan Halliday, Jack Einarson, and captain Kolten Kanaski.
On Nov. 22, the Wolverines jumped out to a 2-0 first period lead and went up 3-0 in the second. Josh Belcher and Tristan Thompson got the 826 fans in attendance cheering with third period goals. However, the Oil Caps were unable to tie up the contest. Kozma had 24 saves.
“Against Wayway, I didn’t like the structure of our game early and in parts of the game we were too slow and didn’t execute very well through the neutral zone,” Ramsey said. “We did manage to grab some momentum later in the game, but it wasn’t enough. We know what we need to work on and will have a full week to get ready for Selkirk.”
The Oil Caps’ lone game is Friday when the Selkirk Steelers (14-11-2-0) come to town.
On Dec. 1, junior teams must cut down to 25 player cards. As of Monday, the Oil Caps had 24 players on their roster.