Tonight’s Game Notes:
Welcome fans to the first MJHL action of the 2015 New Year, featuring the visiting Portage Terriers (37-2-2)and your home town Virden Oil Capitals (19-13-6). Tonight’s game is brought to you by Tutthill Construction in Elkhorn.
We’ve got lots to talk about tonight. Canada’s top-ranked team in the country is in the building, the return of Kevin Pochuk, and January 10th trade deadline is right around the corner.
The Oil Caps head into tonight having lost their previous two matchups in a shootout, but sport a 6-2-2 record in their last 10 games. Their most recent loss coming to the hands of the Terriers who met on Wednesday afternoon in a New Year’s Eve matchup. Virden got a three-point effort from Jordan Greig (1 G, 2 A), but couldn’t seal the deal in the shootout as the Terriers picked up their 37th win of the season. The Oil Caps still managed a point out of the dog pound, but are still in seach for their 20th win of the season.
The Oil Caps have the opportunity to mend their relationship with Tundra Oil & Gas Place this month as they will play seven of their next ten games on home ice and only have a 7-8-2 record in the buildling. This of course means 12 of the 19 wins have come on the road – a stat that is not bad to have with the playoff season on the horizon.
Shifting gears back to the Terriers. Portage visits tonight for the first time since October 7th after the Oil Caps started the season with a pair of home games with the dogs. Pochuk makes his first appearance back in Virden after being sent their in November in exchange for Clay Van Diest. The Terriers come into tonight with an unimaginable 37-2-2 record. They need to go 13-6 to finish the season to hit the 50 wins plateau – Something that seems quite attainable at this point and also would match what the 2009-10 Dauphin Kings did when they also hosted the Royal Bank Cup national championship.
The Terriers are being led by Zack Waldvogel and Elkhorn’s Brad Bowles who each top the league scoring statistics with 52 points each. Their are nine Terrier players total in the league’s top 20 scorers while the Oil Caps’ Soren Frederiksen, Ben Williams, and Devan Schramalso sit in that top 20 tier as well.
Elkhorn’s Shawn Bowles and Brett Orr along with Virden’s, Landon Peel, are also featured in this Terrier lineup. Tonight will be the first time Peel will play in his hometown at the Junior level after spending the beginning of his career in the WHL. Unfortunately for Orr, he is not expected to dress tonight as he has not dressed since November 14th due to injury.
Virden will play without Lucas Oliver and Jake Dudar tonight who are also recovering from injuries of their own. Sean Kuehn will get the start between the pipes.
Make sure you arrive early tonight and to receive one of the 500 drink koozies that are being handed out by tonight’s game host, Tutthill Construction.
Happy New Year everyone and enjoy tonight’s first of the calendar year.