Winkler, MB– Hunter Cloutier scored the go-ahead goal with 2:49 left in the third period, and Kyle Kozma stopped 20/23 as the Virden Oil Capitals extended their winning streak to five in a row with a 5-3 Victory over the Winkler Flyers.
In the first period, the Oil Caps couldn’t imagine a better start. Newly Signed defenseman Daemon Hunt, who played his first game since mid-march, picked up a loose puck in the slot and ripped it top corner over the glove to make it 1-0 Oil Caps just 1:20 into the hockey game. Hunt was loaned to the Oil Caps earlier this week from the Moose Jaw Warriors. They had a chance to extend the lead to two but failed to convert on a 4:00 powerplay, despite some good opportunities. Then the Oil Caps got themselves in their own 4:00 penalty kill, and the Flyers made them pay dearly. After some good zone time for the Flyers and Oil Caps goaltender Kyle Kozma without a stick, the Flyers were able to beat Kozma with a cross-ice pass that made it 1-1. Still, on the powerplay, The Flyers made a nifty play down low and cut across the grain to make it 2-1. The Oil Caps outshot the Flyers 14-6 in the opening frame.
The Oil Caps started on the penalty kill in the middle frame that carried over from the first period, and they successfully killed it off. Thanks to some big stops by Kozma to keep the Oil Caps within striking distance. Then Owen Blocker took an interference penalty that put the Oil Caps shorthanded yet again. Just as Blocker exited the box, Rands entered. Again, the Oil Caps got out of danger and killed it off. The Oil Caps got a powerplay of their own. And they capitalized quickly. Daemon Hunt found Cloutier, wh found Blocker in the slot, and he ripped it under the Flyers goaltender’s glove to tie it at two. Near the end of the second period, things got physical. Jackson Orr mixed it up with a couple of Flyers in front of the Flyers bench, and they both went off for roughing. The Flyers outshot the Oil Caps 9-4 in the middle frame.
In the third period, the Oil Caps came out fast; Andrew picked up the puck with speed and fooled the Flyers goaltender potting it five-hole to give the Oil Caps the lead 3-2. But the Flyers were able to answer right back after a mad scramble in front of Kozma; the Flyers chipped a shot over the pad to tie the game once again. The referees put the whistles away in the final frame and let the players decide the outcome. In the late stages of the third period, Hunter Cloutier put the Oil Caps up for good. He ripped a shot under the right arm to take a 4-3 lead. With the Flyers net empty, Andrew got a breakaway but was slashed, and the referee awarded an automatic goal.
Andrew liked how to team stayed in the fight all game long.
Sitting out the last two games was tough,” said Andrew. “It was nice to come back into the line-up and contribute right away on the scoresheet. I thought we did a nice job battling back all game long to get the win,” added Andrew.
“You know, I thought our guys battled real hard. We had a great start to the game. Nice to see Daemon Hunt get the opening goal for us but then got a powerplay that we didn’t execute very well on, and that kind of took the wind out of our sails a bit,” said Head Coach and GM Tyson Ramsey.
“Then we give up two powerplays and get down by a goal after the 1st. I was not fond of our second period at all. We were able to tie the game, but I thought they were faster than us, and we were outworked for the majority. Then in the third, I thought our guys were really good. We played fast, we were heavy, and we generated way more offensively as a result. I thought Kyle Kozma was excellent to keep us in the game in the second, and I was happy with the way our guys battled through the challenging parts of the game. It was a real good win in a tough building,” added Ramsey.
The Oil Caps extend their winning streak to five in a row and 6-0-1 on the season with the win. They will be back in action tomorrow night in Virden against the same Winkler Flyers. Puck drop is set for 7:30 p.m.