The Virden Oil Capitals had a strong week as they battled through a schedule that saw them play four games in five days.
During that stretch, the team won two games and lost the other two. On the season, the Oil Capitals are 11-11-1-4.
“As a team, I thought that stretch of games was tough on us, but at the same time it was an opportunity to grow as a team,” head coach Troy Leslie said. “Our effort as a group has been much better. We are getting good performances out of guys.”
Saturday is the deadline for Junior A teams to cut down to 25 players. The Oil Capitals are below that number. There is often a flurry of trades at the deadline.
Jamie Hodson, the team’s director of business and hockey operations, emphasized the organization is happy with its team and pleased with its young players. He said the Oil Caps are not aggressively looking for anything but will do their due diligence on any offers.
Oil Capitals athletic therapist Hailee Dayman has been selected to be an important part of Team Canada West at both its selection camp and during the World Junior A Hockey Challenge.
“It is really good for our program … and for her personally,” Leslie said.
Dayman was the guest equipment manager at the selection camp last year. The Canada West selection camp runs Dec. 3-5 in Calgary with five MJHL players participating. The World Junior A Challenge is Dec. 9-15 in Bonnyville with two Canadian teams and squads from the U.S., Russia, and the Czech Republic.
The Oil Capitals’ lone game this week is in Dauphin on Friday night. The team hosts Selkirk on Dec. 4 on Valleyview Co-op’s Tin for the Bin nightand visits the Portage Terriers the next day. Dec. 14 is the Virden Truck & Trailer Teddy Bear Toss.
Oil Caps 4, Blizzard 2
On Nov. 20 on the road, the Oil Capitals won their sixth straight game as they downed the OCN Blizzard for the third consecutive time. After OCN led 1-0 in the first period, Virden tied up the game 1-1 in the second. The Oil Caps used a three-goal offensive outburst in the third to win the game.
Scoring for Virden were hometown product Tanner Andrew, Brett Paddock, Blake Sidoni and Kolten Kanaski. Virden goalie Dalton Dosch made 21 saves on 23 shots. The Oil Caps outshot OCN, 43-39.
Stampeders 5, Oil Caps 4
The Oil Capitals rallied from deficits of 2-0 and 4-1 on the road against Swan Valley on Nov. 21. They tied the game up at 4-4 in the third, but could not prevent the Stampeders from scoring one more in regulation to halt their winning streak at six.
Paddock and Dylan Halliday each scored twice for the Oil Capitals. Paddock extended his goal-scoring streak to four straight games. The rookie from Brandon had seven points in that span.
Halliday had three points on the night. Virden’s own Tristen Cross had two assists for the Oil Capitals. Dosch stopped 38 of the whopping 43 shots sent his way.
Pistons 3, Oil Caps 0
After two scoreless periods, the Pistons put in three third-period goals to win 3-0 in Virden on Nov. 23. Dosch allowed two goals on 25 shots and Steinbach added an empty net marker. Steinbach’s Matthew Radomsky made 25 saves for his third shutout of the season.
The Oil Capitals wore commemorative Hockey Fights Cancer warmup jerseys in front of 791 fans. These were auctioned off in a silent auction to benefit the Canadian Cancer Society.
Oil Caps 6, Steelers 2
The Oil Capitals got back on the winning track by lighting the lamp three times in both the second and third periods on Nov. 24 in front of 813 fans at home on rain check night. Neither Selkirk nor Virden scored in the first period and Virden led 3-2 after the second. Three goals in the third wrapped up a 6-2 victory.
Coming off a loss and playing their fourth game of the week, Leslie said, “I thought it was a really good team effort. Our guys were mentally strong and focused in.”
Oak Lake’s Riley Wallace stopped 25 of the 27 shots he faced in net for the Oil Capitals. Blake Sidoni had a goal and three assists for a game-high four points. Kanaski scored twice for Virden. He leads the team with 16 goals and 29 points. Cross, Tristan Thompson, and Dalke also scored for the Oil Capitals.