The Oil Capitals finished off the preseason with a decisive 5-2-win vs the Swan Valley Stampeders and finish off with a 3 and 3 mark for the exhibition season.
Starting off in the 1st, Stampeder Tanner Booth scored at 9:26 assisted by Jared Newell and Jake Besnillian. At 16:40 Oil Capital Dylan Halliday scored unassisted to tie it up, only to have that tie broken by another unassisted goal at 17:54 by Ben Dalke. The Caps led 2-1 into the intermission.
Right out of the gates, at 0:20 in the 2nd the Stampeders tied it back up with a goal from Carter Cockburn assisted by Josh Tripp and Brian Harris. Kolten Kanaski put the home side up once again 3-2 with a nice one timer, assisted by Josh Belcher and Jayden Wojciechowski.
The Oil Caps added to their lead and at 2:10 in the 3rd from a beautiful deflection from Tanner Andrew, with Tristen Cross taking the original shot from the point. At the end of the 3rd Kanaski got his second of the game into the empty net, assisted by Brayden Pawluk.
Dalton Dosch and Tyler Thompson combined for the win tonight for Virden, stopping 28 of 30 shots. Keegan Watkins-Mcintyre, of Brandon, made 31 saves in the Swan Valley net in the loss.
Director of Business and Hockey Operations, Jamie Hodson, discussed his thoughts on the game: “From top to bottom our guys were solid tonight all around. This was a good way to enter the off week on a high note, prior to the home and home with Dauphin to start the season next weekend. Doscher was solid again and Tyler Thompson was strong in coming in cold to shut the door the 2nd half. Meanwhile our forward group played with speed all night and pushed the play in their zone. Our defense was keeping things relatively simple and keeping the play in front of them throughout the game. Their gaps were good tonight and outlet passes were getting to our forward group allowing us to get up the ice quickly. We will have a few tough decisions to make over the coming week. But overall through camp and end of the exhibition season, all the guys have worked hard and have committed to the style of play our coaching staff is looking to establish. Speed, skill, and offensive zone time will be key to our team success.”
GM and Head Coach Troy Leslie also commented on the game: “it was good to finish our exhibition season with our best 60 minutes of this young season. I liked the way out group managed the puck in the third period. we played a solid game on the defensive side of the puck and finished more checks which was good. An overall good effort.”