It wasn’t the positive start to the two-game road swing the Oil Caps were hoping for this week as Virden dropped a 6-3 decision to the Steelers in Selkirk on Tuesday night.
“We got behind early and struggled through it,” said Oil Caps head coach and GM Troy Leslie.
The Steelers opened up a three-goal lead in the first period as Kyle Wiltshire (PP), Nolan Ferguson and Ethan Eang scored at the 1:25, 9:24 and 9:38 marks respectively before Kyle Salaway responded with a shorthanded marker at 10:27 to make it 3-1 after 20 minutes.
The Steelers kept coming offensively as Ferguson’s second of the night made it 4-1 just a minute and a half into the middle frame before Nate Halvorsen added to the lead approximately 30 seconds later. Tyler Kirkup’s 32nd goal of the season at 4:32 made it 5-2 but any momentum Virden had quickly vanished as the Steelers’ Carter Barley scored at 12:08 with the man advantage to make it 6-2 after two periods of play.
The Oil Caps had several opportunities to make the game much more interesting in the final frame but could only muster one goal as Landyn Cochrane’s 12th of the year at 5:27 was as close as Virden would get on this night.
“The third period was important for us to play well and to get ourselves prepared for tomorrow night,” Leslie added.
The Oil Caps have a stiff test on Wednesday when they travel to Steinbach to take on the top team in the MJHL standings.
“We’re excited about it. We’ve got to learn from this but park it really quick and get ourselves ready to go.”
Zachary Bennett made 34 saves to pick up the win in net for Selkirk, while Dalton Dosch and Riley McVeigh combined to stop 25 shots between the pipes for Virden in the loss.