Oil Caps fall to Natives in Neepawa

The Virden Oil Capitals dropped a 5-2 decision to the Natives in Neepawa on Wednesday night.

After Justin Metcalf scored his 24th of the season at the 9:11 mark of the first period, Benoit Mowbray made it 2-0 a few minutes later (12:51) giving the home team a 2-0 advantage after 20 minutes.

The Oil Caps came out hard in the middle frame outshooting the Natives 16-8 but it was Neepawa that wound up with the lone goal as Brad Marshall’s seventh of the year at 15:45 made it 3-0 after 40 minutes.

The Natives continued the offensive pressure in the third as Marshall’s second of the night and eighth on the campaign at 8:23 and Ashton Anderson’s 23rd of the year at 11:25 made it 5-0 for the home squad.

The Oil Capitals finally got on the board less than a minute later as Justin Lee picked up his fifth of the season at 12:07. Tyler Kirkup wokuld later score his 25th of the year shorthanded a minute later.

Spencer Eschyschyn picked up the win in net for Neepawa, turning aside 25 of 27 shots, while Riley McVeigh ended up with the loss for Virden, stopping 15 of 20 pucks directed his way.

“We didn’t have our best game tonight,” said head coach and GM Troy Leslie. “We were good at times but not very consistent and a little disjointed. It was a tough night but we have a big weekend coming up. I’m confident we’re going to bounce back.”

Leslie says his team had difficulty getting to the ‘hard areas’ of the ice tonight as the Natives did a solid job limiting time and space.

“There was some shots that we got to the net but nobody was there. We weren’t very good in front of our own net and we weren’t very good in front of their net.”

The Oil Caps have a big weekend coming up as the club plays three games in three nights, starting with the Stampeders on Friday night in Swan Valley before coming home to conclude a home-and-home with the Stampeders on Saturday, followed by a Sunday contest against the Natives at Tundra Oil and Gas Place.