VIRDEN, MB — It was a sense of the return of normalcy a little bit Wednesday night when the Virden Oil Capitals returned to the ice Wednesday night against the Waywayseecappo Wolverines. It was the first time since last March when their playoff run came crashing down due to the Global Pandemic. Colin Cook scored the game-winning goal with 1:28 left in overtime to seal a 3-2 victory for the Oil Caps.
In the first period, you couldn’t have asked for a better start for the Oil Caps. 20-year-old forward Josh Belcher, who played on a line with Conor Geekie, and Branden Huminuk, scored just 88 seconds into the hockey game. Shortly after, the Oil Caps had a chance to extend the lead on the powerplay, and after an excellent opportunity in front by Halliday, the score stayed 1-0 Virden. Then the Oil Caps got into penalty trouble… Guthrie and Blocker both got penalties in short order, which gave the Wolverines a 5 on 3 man-advantage for over a minute. The Wolverines failed to convert. Ryley Gross got the start in this one and stopped all ten shots he faced In the opening frame.
In the second period, the rough stuff picked up. There were scrums after nearly every whistle, which saw some coincidental penalties were assessed to both teams. Roux Bazin had the best chance of the period to extend the lead to two when he was left all alone in front of the Wolverines net, but he was unable to put it in. Then it was a parade to the penalty box for the Oil Caps. First, it was Cook to got the gate for hooking, then in the same play, Guthrie and Wallace were assessed penalties leaving the team with just four defencemen for an extended period. The Oil Capitals were able to kill it off thanks to some excellent saves by Gross! Virden native, Eric Reid, took the net over after a media timeout late in the second period. After two periods of play, the Oil Caps had a shot advantage of 19-15.
Early in the third period, the Oil Caps were given a Powerplay, and they quickly cashed in! Defenceman Jackson Orr let a bomb go from the point, and it looked like it went straight in, but the goal got credited to forward Owen Blocker. It seemed the Oil Caps were in cruise control the rest of the way, but the Wolverines wouldn’t go away. With just under four minutes left in the game, Wolverines forward, Tyson Zimmer snapped a shot under Reid’s glove to cut the lead to one. Then moments later, with the Wayway goalie pulled for the 6 on 5 advantage, in a mad scramble in the Oil Caps crease, the Wolverines tied the game… with just 25 seconds left in the hockey game.
That set the stage for 3 on 3 overtime. The Wolverines had the best chance of extra frame, but Reid made a nice save on a 2 on 1. Then it was Colin Cook’s time to shine. He made a beautiful toe drag move around the Wolverines defender and roofed it under the bar to give the Oil Caps a 3-2 win.
Head Coach Tyson Ramsey had this to say after his teams Overtime win.
“I really liked our group last night. I think our young guys played with speed and skill and were hard to play against. I also thought the veteran guys in the lineup were good as well. They played with some structure and were good leaders for our younger guys. We are excited about our group and there are going to be some tough decisions in the next week or so.”
The Oil Caps will be on the road for the remaining two games in the preseason. September 27th and October 2nd, both in Portage, before returning home for the Valleyview CO-OP Home Opener October 9th against those same Terriers!