By: Blake Friars
PORTAGE LA PRAIRIE, MB – The Virden Oil Capitals scored twice on the powerplay and cruised to a 5-1 victory on the road over the Portage Terriers.
In the first period of the second of three pre-season games for the Virden Oil Capitals, they got off to a great start. Jack Einarson had the team’s best chance very early into the hockey game, but the Terriers goalie made an unbelievable desperation save to keep it scoreless. Shortly after, forward, Braeden Lewis broke the deadlock as he sprung himself loose and made a great move around the goaltender and snuck it past the outstretched pad to make it 1-0 Oil Caps. Then the Terriers had a chance on the powerplay when Carson Buydens took a slashing penalty, but Oil Caps goaltender Kyle Kozma came up with three huge saves to preserve to 1-0 lead. Then the team rewarded its goalie with another marker, this time it was Tristan Thompson jamming a puck home on the doorstep late in the frame to give the Oil Caps a 2-0 lead. Shots after the opening 20 minutes were ten apiece.
In the middle frame, the Oil Caps waisted zero time adding to their two-goal lead. Just 90 seconds into the period, Roux Bazin was the recipient of a nifty feed from Einarson, and he tucked it home on the backhand to make it 3-0. The Oil Caps weren’t done there. On the Powerplay, Tyler Thoendel buried a loose puck in the crease to extend the lead to 4-0. At the eight-minute mark of the second period, both teams changed goalies. Kyle Kozma stopped all ten shots he faced in 32 minutes of work in his season debut. The Terriers got into penalty trouble, and again, the Oil Caps made them pay. This time, it was defenseman Tyler Teasdale that ripped a puck through traffic, and it found a way into the net for a 5-0 lead. The Oil Caps controlled most of the play in the middle frame, outshooting the Terriers 16-3.
In the final frame, both teams traded powerplays, but neither team was able to convert. The Terriers finally got on the scoreboard with a goal late in the third period by Aeden Lubachowski, as he beat Gross over the glove hand to make it 5-1. The Oil Caps controlled most of the game and led in the shot department 38-17.
Head Coach Tyson Ramsey had this to say on his team’s 5-1 win on the road.
“I thought we started the game a little slow, our execution was poor, and we didn’t play with any pace. Kyle Kozma was real good in the first and made some big saves early to keep the game tied. I thought the second period was a better period, we made some plays, and our structure was better. Then in the third, I thought we were excellent. We played fast and created several good chances. Their goalie was very, very good in the third.”
With the win, the Oil Caps improve to 2-0 in pre-season play and will play their final tune-up game on October 2nd back in Portage. Before playing the same Terriers October 9th in the Valleyview CO-OP Home Opener.