Virden, MB- For the second time in this season, the Virden Oil Capitals did battle with the visiting Portage Terriers. This time the road team came out on top, Tyson McLean beat Oil Capitals goaltender Kyle Kozma blocker side 1:47 into overtime to give the Terriers a 2-1 victory.
In the first period, it was fast-paced and physical, just like Friday nights home opener. Owen Blocker got the crowd into it with two big hits early in the opening period, but Blocker never played a shift after that, leaving them shorthanded upfront the rest of the way. The home side got a chance on the powerplay when Kian Calder got the gate for interference. The Oil Caps mounted a lot of pressure in the offensive zone but failed to convert on the man advantage. Then moments later, the Oil Caps finally broke the deadlock on their tenth shot of the period. Defenceman Trevor Hunt let a shot go from the point, and it hit a couple of bodies and found it’s way past Portage goaltender Chris Fines to make it 1-0 Oil Caps. The Terriers got a late powerplay but failed to solve Kozma. The Oil Caps held the shot advantage 15-12 after the first.
In the middle frame, it got very chippy, with scrums after almost every whistle. Back and forth, each team went with good scoring chances at both ends. Portage finally solved Kozma when Peyton Gorski ripped a shot glove side to tie the game at one apiece. Then the Oil Caps got into penalty trouble. First, it was Braeden Lewis for slashing, then Rookes for boarding, and Cloutier got the gate for slashing; thanks to good penalty killing and solid goaltending, the Oil Caps headed to the third period tied 1-1. The shots after the middle frame were 31-27 Oil Caps.
In the final twenty, the Terriers came out firing, Kozma made an unbelievable lunging glove save to keep it 1-1. That save seemed to give the Oil Caps a little jump. Branden Huminuk had a glorious chance to give the Oil Caps the lead but was denied on the doorstep by Fines. Roux Bazin was given a hard ride into the boards and was slow to get up but went off on his own power. Portage came close to pulling ahead, but Kozma’s best friend (the goal post) had other ideas. Nothing was solved the rest of the way, and fans got treated to three on three overtime.
For the second time (counting pre-season), the Oil Caps played overtime (3-2 win against Wayway). The Oil Caps dominated overtime, outshooting the Terriers 10-2; Hunter Andrew got sprung loose on a breakaway but couldn’t solve Fines. Then 1:47 into OT, Tyson McLean ended it ripping a shot under the bar blocker side to give Portage a 2-1 victory.
Despite outshooting the Terriers 54-46, the Oil Caps fall to 1-0-1 on the year. They will be back in action this weekend when they travel to Portage. Puck drop is 7:30 on Friday night, and 6:30 on Sunday. You can catch all the road games on Hockey TV, or follow along on Twitter for live game updates.