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Oil Caps come out strong, fade late to Pistons

The Virden Oil Capitals were able to jump out to an early 2-0 lead on Saturday night in their first home exhibition contest against the Steinbach Pistons but weren’t able to sustain the momentum, eventually falling 8-3 at Tundra Oil and Gas Place.

“I thought some of our young guys wore down a little bit near the end of the game and some of our older guys were a little bit unfocused at times,” said Oil Caps head coach and GM Troy Leslie. “Through the first half of the game, I thought we were pretty good. They just came at us hard and capitalized on some mistakes.”

Kolten Kanaski got the Oil Caps on the board early in the first and then Kirklan Lycar followed that up to make the score 2-0 for the home team. The Pistons responded with two tallies of their own and the game ended up tied after 20 minutes of play.

The Pistons took the lead before Dylan Halliday tied the game once again at three apiece. The Pistons wound up taking the lead and ended up never looking back, netting four goals in the final frame.

“I think it was a good experience for some of the young guys in here tonight,” Leslie said. “This was a pretty good team that they faced. I thought for the most part they handled themselves very well.”

Leslie says the team hasn’t really looked like the club that will be on the ice come opening night and that the club will continue to set the roster as it prepares for regular season action.

“We’ve got three more exhibition games and we’ve had a lot of guys out and we really haven’t gotten close to our game day lineup yet,” he said. “So I think we’re going to spend some time whittling down and making some releases and getting closer to that number and then start getting our team ready for opening night.”

The Oil Caps’ next exhibition game action is Tuesday night when they host the Portage Terriers.

Game time is 7:30 p.m.