Virden Oil Capitals head coach Tyson Ramsey was pleased with what he saw in the first week of the exhibition season.
The Manitoba Junior Hockey League team fell 4-3 in a shootout to Portage on Sept. 3. The Oil Caps then romped past the Winkler Flyers, 9-2, the next night and beat Waywayseecappo, 5-3, on Sept. 7.
“We have seen a lot of good things in the exhibition season so far,” Ramsey said on Monday. “Our young guys have really impressed with their speed and skill and our veteran group has worked hard. We are looking forward to playing this week and working our way closer to what our roster will look like in our season opener in Selkirk.”
The Oil Caps, down to 25 players by Monday, were to host Portage in exhibition play on Tuesday and Winkler on Wednesday. This Saturday the squad wraps up its preseason against Waywayseecappo at home.
The 2019-2020 MJHL campaign begins for Virden on Sept. 20 in Selkirk. The next night, on Saturday, the team hosts the Steelers for the Valleyview Co-Op home opener.
Twenty-year-old Oil Caps forward Kolten Kanaski has been named the team’s captain. The Beausejour product is in his fourth season with the club. Last season he led the team with 32 goals and 62 points.
“Kolten is a natural leader on top of being a very gifted player on the ice,” Ramsey said in a media release. “He is respected in our dressing room by our returning group and makes sure he takes the time to develop a strong connection with all of the young players coming in to our organization.”
Virden’s Brian Mytopher will be the team’s equipment manager this season. Dana Warrener, who hails from Ste. Rode du Lac, will be the athletic trainer. The University of Manitoba grad has experience with teams such as her alma mater’s volleyball and track and field squads.
Former Oil Capitals captain Ben Dalke was named one of three winners of the MJHL Scholarship Fund for 2019. The University of Manitoba student will receive a $1,200 scholarship. Former Winnipeg Blues player Griffin Chwaliboga and Jeremy Link also received scholarships, which can be used at a Canadian institution. The duo will be students with Dalke at the U of M.