Oil Capitals Continue to Improve on the Power Play but lose late in Portage.

Six days after their big win in Wayway, the Oil Caps were hoping to continue their winning ways on the road in Portage on Friday night.

Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case as Virden dropped a 7-5 decision to the Terriers in what was a back-and-forth affair at Stride Place.

The Terriers opened the scoring as Jared Roy netted his first of two tallies on the night at 8:17 of the first period before Josh Belcher replied just 31 seconds later (assisted by Dylan Halliday) making it 1-1. Jack Einarson’s fourth of the year at 18:16 (assisted by Brett Paddock and Tanner Andrew) made it 2-1 for Virden, but the lead was short-lived as Logan Calder replied for Portage less than a minute later.

The Oil Caps responded early in the middle frame as captain Ben Dalke picked up his first goal of the season on the power play at the 1:26 mark (assisted by Hunter Cloutier and Kolten Kanaski) before Mac Walkington’s first of the year for the Terriers at 6:41 tied the game 3-3.

Virden was able to claw back as Tanner Andrew’s second of the year (assisted by Paddock and Einarson) near the midway mark of the second made it 4-3 for the Oil Caps before Roy’s second tally of the game at 13:14 tied the game once again. Sheldin Howard’s fourth of the year at 19:35 with the man advantage made it 5-4 for Portage after 40 minutes of play.

Hunter Cloutier’s third goal of this young season at 3:33 of the third on the power play (assisted by Dalke and Jayden Wojciechowski) tied the game once again, but it was the Terriers who would respond and would never look back.

Owen Murray’s tally at 16:03 and Jay Buchholz’s fifth of the year at 18:47 into an empty net wrapped up the scoring on this night.

“It’s hard to win a game on any night when you allow seven goals” said Troy Leslie, GM and head coach of the Oil Caps. “With that being said, we gave ourselves a chance to win the game in the third. Our power play continues to get better. We need to learn from this one and then get ourselves ready for a big game tomorrow.”

Oil Caps netminder 19 year old, Tyler Thompson’s 1st MJHL game, turned aside 34 of 40 shots directed his way in the loss, while Miles Minor stopped 16 of 21 pucks to pick up the win for Portage.

The Oil Capitals face off against the Winkler Flyers tonight at 7:30 p.m. at Tundra Oil and Gas Place.  Come on down for the game and stay for the Family Fun Skate after the game.