The Virden Oil Capitals picked up their first win of the exhibition season on Tuesday night at Tundra Oil and Gas Place.
A three-goal outburst in the second period helped the home team defeat the visiting Portage Terriers by a score of 5-2.
“I think we were more focused for 60 minutes of the game,” said Oil Caps head coach and GM Troy Leslie. “We did a lot of the little things better tonight and we got rewarded for it.”
After the Terriers opened the scoring in the first, Dylan Thiessen netted his first of two tallies late in the period as both teams went back to their respective dressing rooms locked in a 1-1 tie. The Oil Capitals then exploded with three unanswered in the second as Josh Belcher, Morgan Magwood and Drayson Skulmoski each scored to give Virden a 4-1 after 40 minutes of play. Thiessen scored his second of the game approximately five minutes into the third before the Terriers would score late. However it was a case of too little, too late for Portage as the home fans went home happy on this night.
Leslie praised the work of netminder Riley McVeigh, who was stellar between the pipes for Virden, making several huge stops throughout the contest.
“Riley was a difference maker for us. In the third period when they started pushing back and coming at us a little harder, he made some key saves. When he does those kinds of things, he rejuvenates our bench and gets us back into it again.”
The Oil Capitals have two more exhibition contests remaining on their schedule – a home-and-home set with the Dauphin Kings – which take place on Friday in Dauphin and Saturday back home in Virden.
“It was a good step forward tonight,” Leslie added. “We need to get what we think is our No. 1 lineup in and we’re going to do that on the weekend here and we’ll see where we’re at.”