The Virden Oil Capitals sure do keep busy.
The Manitoba Junior Hockey League squad has four games in the span of six days. The team, which went 0-1-1-0 last week, was to play in Neepawa on Wednesday. They were to return home on Valentine’s Day to take on the Portage Terriers. On Saturday, the Oil Capitals host Neepawa for a rematch. The team is in Portage on Louis Riel Day, Monday, to play the Terriers again.
The Oil Capitals entered the week with a 27-17-4-4 record and fourth in the MJHL. The top three teams had already claimed playoff spots. Virden sat just one point ahead of fifth-place Selkirk and was 12 points behind third-place Steinbach.
Pistons 4, Oil Caps 3 OT
The Virden team fell 4-3 in overtime on the road in Steinbach on Feb. 8. The Oil Caps led 1-0 and 2-0 at the intermissions. The Pistons responded with two goals to open the third period and tie things up. Oil Cap Jack Einarson scored to put the visitors ahead, 3-2. However, the Pistons got the game-tying goal in the third and the game winner, from Brendan Martin, in overtime.
“It was unfortunate,” Virden head coach Troy Leslie said. “I thought we played a pretty good game. … You are not going to get out of Steinbach without having a battle. It took on a playoff feel.”
Tanner McKechnie and Tristen Cross had the Oil Capitals’ goals. Josh Belcher recorded two assists. Virden goalie Dalton Dosch stopped 30 of the 34 shots he faced.
Oil Cap Brock Shwaluk and Steinbach’s Caleb Paisley tangled in the second period. Kolten Kanaski of the Oil Caps and Piston Caydin Cleland dropped the gloves in the third.
Blues 4, Oil Caps 1
With points in five of his last six games, Einarson displayed his scoring touch with the game’s first goal on Feb. 9 in Winnipeg. The Blues tied things up before the end of the first period and then added one goal in the second and two in the third for a 4-1 win.
Oil Caps netminder Riley Wallace made 32 saves. Virden’s Jesse Mistelbacher and Winnipeg’s Braeden Bina fought in the third period.
Leslie noted that in both games last week the Oil Caps were unable to score on the power play while their opponents did.
Oil Cap Notes
Cross was the Virden and Reston Drugs Player of the Month for January. He had five goals and nine points in 10 games. … Last weekend the team held its first Fathers Road Trip with their dads joining them in various activities. … The Oil Caps have added Geno Parrish as a scout focusing on Minnesota and the midwestern U.S. The Bloomington, Minn. product played at the college and pro levels. His son, Weiland, played last season for Winkler. Parrish’s brother Mark was an NHL all-star with the Islanders in 2002. … Parrish joins Virden product Bryn Chyzyk as a U.S.-based scout. Chyzyk is a former NCAA Division I champ and pro player based in Grand Forks, N.D. … The team has announced Oak Lake product Jason Taylor will speak at their February banquet along with broadcaster Leah Hextall. A former Brandon Wheat King, Taylor played professionally and is an agent and hockey advisor.