Tonight’s Game Notes:
Welcome fans to tonight’s MJHL action featuring the visitingWaywayseecappo Wolverines (20-29-3) and your home town Virden Oil Capitals (27-15-8). Tonight’s game is a Red Out brought to you by The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Manitoba.
After an extremely busy home schedule in January that featured seven home games and probably made you feel like you were at the rink every other night, you are now getting to see your Oil Caps for just the first time in almost two weeks.
The pesky Waywayseecappo Wolverines visit Tundra Oil & Gas Place tonight and have given the Oil Caps all they can handle so far this season. The Wolverines rolled into town last on January 13th and earned a hard fought two points – almost an exact blue print of the win they earned in Virden back in October. There is no surprises with this club. What you see is what you get. They challenge each team they play each night to work harder than them. It’s hard not to like the “work boot mentality” that Head Coach/GM, Barry Butler instills into his club. This is a team that is currently in a home-ice Survivor Series position and is going to give any team they run into in the post season a run for their money. A playoff spot which they officially clinched on Saturday night with a 4-3 win over the Steinbach Pistons.
Ok.. enough about the Wolverines for now. Your Oil Caps are also playing some solid hockey as of late. Winners of three straight, they come into tonight four points behind the Winkler Flyers for fourth spot with two games in-hand. Looking at the 10-game forecast, the Oil Caps are going to have to continue their winning ways if they want any chance at catching Steinbach, let alone edging out Winkler for fourth. Fortunately for the Oil Caps, should they be tied with any of the teams above them in the standings, if they have the same amount of wins, they will have the deciding tie-breaker factor in that they’ve won the season series with Winnipeg, Steinbach, and Winkler.
The mini three-game winning streak could be somewhat credited to the return of Lucas Oliverto the Oil Caps line-up, giving Virden as healthy of a lineup as they’ve had all season (knock on wood). With the exception of Brett Sharples who will miss the rest of the season with a knee injury, all other players are left fighting for their spot in this lineup that has become quite deep and a tough one to crack.
Going back to Oliver, he played in his 100th career MJHL game last Saturday night in Dauphin where he recorded the game’s first goal for the Oil Caps. Mack Hardy also recently surpassed the 100-game plateau, now with 110 career games while Taylor Fisher is creeping in on his 100th game, playing in his 97th career game tonight for the burgundy and black.
We hope that you remembered to wear red tonight in support of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Manitoba. Please make sure to visit their table on the main concourse.
We’re officially in the home stretch at game 51 of the season tonight. Enjoy the matchup.