It truly was a season to remember for the Virden Oil Capitals as there were a ton of great moments from the 2017-2018 campaign.
Here’s a look back at a few memorable highlights from the 2017-2018 season. Enjoy!
Regular season home opener – Oil Caps win!
In front of a packed house, the Oil Caps kicked off the regular season in style with an impressive 10-3 win over the Dauphin Kings in their home opener back on Sept. 22 at Tundra Oil and Gas Place.
The night involved a tailgate party, live entertainment and a special pregame ceremony as well. Overall, a great start to the season for the Oil Caps!
Oil Caps begin working with Virden Minor Hockey
In October, the Oil Caps announced that they were joining forces with Virden Minor Hockey.
A total of 12 minor hockey teams in the community had two Oil Caps players each helping their respective teams throughout the hockey season. The players attended most of their respective team’s practices and were at their games when time permitted.
The Oil Caps players took on a mentorship role throughout the year, helping the coaches in drills and demonstrations.
This was just one of the several community initiatives involving the Oil Caps throughout the season. Each hockey season, the Oil Caps volunteer hundreds of hours of their time to both hockey and non-hockey related events.
Oil Caps pay tribute to first responders
Prior to the Nov. 10 contest between the Neepawa Natives and the Oil Caps at Tundra Oil and Gas Place, the Virden MJHL club paid tribute to all first responders, including the Wallace District Fire Department and surrounding departments, Virden and area RCMP as well as all local EMS members.
With respects to Remembrance Day, the Oil Capitals also took time to remember those men and women who fought and died protecting our rights and freedoms, including Clare Cawston, who was acknowledged in the pregame ceremony and was represented by long-time Virden legion member Hanke Kyle.
The Oil Caps also had a moment of silence to honour Cst. John Davidson, from the Abbotsford Police Department, who had passed away in the line of duty.
Topping the night off was the Oil Caps winning the contest by a score of 5-0.
Special third jerseys worn by Oil Caps and later auctioned off on Ag Appreciation Night
Just a few days before Christmas, the Oil Caps held another special evening at Tundra Oil and Gas Place.
It was Ag Appreciation night on Thursday, Dec. 21 between the Oil Caps and Steinbach Pistons. The game included the unveiling of the Oil Caps ag-themed third jerseys, which were auctioned off during the contest with a portion of the proceeds going to local 4-H clubs.
A pregame ceremony also took place, recognizing all the Oil Caps ag partners from this year’s Crop Club, some of which were in attendance that night.
On the ice, it ended up being a close game as the Oil Caps wound up dropping a 3-2 decision to the Steinbach Pistons.
Oil Caps with strong second half of season
The Oil Caps came out of their Christmas break on the right foot, defeating the Winkler Flyers 5-2 in their first game of 2018 on Wednesday, Jan. 3.
That win was just the start of a solid month of January where the team picked up nine wins overall as the club continued its march to the postseason.
Meanwhile, in February, the Oil Caps capped off a five-game winning streak late in the month with a decisive 12-3 win over the Winnipeg Blues on Thursday, Feb. 22.
It was the most goals scored by the Oil Caps this season.
Awards banquet a huge success
It was a memorable night on Thursday, March 1 as Oil Caps staff, players, billets, marketing partners, fans, volunteers and many others were in attendance for the annual awards banquet.
Master of ceremonies Travis McColl did a great job on the mic directing traffic all night, while guest speaker Karissa Kirkup, a local product who is a member of the University of Manitoba Bisons women’s hockey team, provided an inspiring speech about her hockey career, which included stints with the Westman Wildcats AAA midget squad, the University of Maine Division 1 team as well as U of M.
There were 12 awards in total that were doled out that night. Among the winners was Tyler Kirkup, who came away with four awards in total, including the Virden Footwear MVP trophy.
Oil Caps clinch second place in MJHL standings
Just like their home opener, the Oil Caps came away with a big 6-2 win in their regular season finale on Saturday, March 3 over the Dauphin Kings.
With the win, the Oil Caps clinched second place in the MJHL standings, finishing the regular season with a 40-17-2-1 record.
Oil Caps, Pistons, MJHL come together for a good cause
After a devastating bus accident involving the Humboldt Broncos that occurred on April 6 near Nipawin, Sask., the Oil Caps, Pistons, the MJHL and a packed house at Tundra Oil and Gas Place showcased their overwhelming support for a good cause during Game 2 of the championship final on April 12 in Virden, raising a total of $18,135.20 for the Humboldt Broncos organization.
A total of $10,080 was raised from Humboldt T-shirt sales that were made available for purchase that night, while 50/50 sales helped raise $6,040. Meanwhile, a donation box for green ribbons ended up raising a total of $2,015.20.
The night also included a very touching pregame ceremony that included a plethora of dignitaries and first responders, tribute videos as well as a 16-second moment of silence to honour the 16 people that lost their lives.
A playoff run to remember
It truly was a special playoff run for the Oil Caps, who ended up defeating the Selkirk Steelers in five games in the first round and following that up with a four-game sweep of the Winkler Flyers in round two to move on to the championship final.
Despite the eventual championship final loss to the Steinbach Pistons, it was a season to remember for the Virden Oil Capitals. We hope you enjoyed the ride as much as the organization did!
We hope to see you all at the rink next season!
Oil Caps hockey.
It’s your team. It’s our passion.