The Oil Capitals gave everything they had in front of their home crowd on Thursday evening at the Tundra. In the end the heavily favoured Terriers were too much for the bruised and battered home town team.
Kolten Shindle opened the scoring early in the 1st, netting his second of these playoffs. Jared Roy, getting his second of these playoffs, put the Terriers up 2-0 half way through the opening frame. Josh Belcher would cut into Portage’s lead, netting his second of the playoffs with assists to Einarson and Cross. Not to be outdone, Portage would regain the two goal lead, with Shindle getting his second of the game taking the teams to the 1st intermission with a 3-1 lead.
Portage “padded” their lead in the 2nd period as Reilly Funk netted his second of the playoffs extending their lead to 4-1. Virden’s own Tristen Cross, would again cut the lead in half, 4-2, netting his first of the post season with helpers from Tanner Andrew and Logan Rands at the 5:29 mark. That would be all the scoring in the 2nd, as both goalies were sharp the rest of the way heading into the 2nd intermission.
Portage would add an insurance marker in the 3rd as Scott Mickoski netted his 3rd of the playoffs giving Portage a 5-2 lead. Ultimately this would be the final score as Portage would take the series in a 4 game sweep. Brock Moroz stopped 36 of 41 in the Virden net, and Ethan Peterson, 27 of 29 shots to preserve the win for the Terriers.
Oil Capitals Management: “Was a tough night all around, as ultimately at the beginning of the year, our desire is to win a championship. Our 20-year olds; Ben Dalke, Tristen Cross, Blake Sidoni, Brock Shwaluk, and Tanner McKechnie need to be commended for the great young men these guys are. They are model citizens both on and off the ice and we can’t say enough about their abilities as hockey players and their character. Our whole group had to deal with a lot of adversity this series and even though, the results with wins were not there, the experience they have attained through this process is second to none. We will evaluate moving forward into the summer, looking to surround ourselves and these returning players with the opportunity to win a championship next year. We have many young guys who got a great experience of what playoff hockey is about and what it entails and the necessity it takes to win a championship.”
Injuries were a big factor in determining the series for the home team: Starting goaltender, Dalton Dosch with a LBI occurring in game 4 of the Selkirk series, wasn’t able to play. Rookie netminder, Riley Wallace dealing with a nagging LBI occurring in game 2 wasn’t able to start game 3 or 4. Tanner Andrew missed time after game 1, due to a LBI. Brett Paddock dealt with an UBI occurring in game 2. Keagan Morrison sustained an UBI in game 3 in Portage. Austin Johnston with a season ending UBI injury didn’t play in the playoffs.
Oil Caps Tid Bits: Jake Poole played his second game of the series as the Yellowhead Chief product showed once again he will be a major contributor of the Oil Capital’s future. Another Yellowhead Chief product, and 2017 Oil Capitals 1st round pick, defenceman Bray Rookes, played his 1st playoff game for the Oil Capitals and looked like a seasoned veteran on the blueline filling in admirably. Brock Moroz, the Pembina Valley Hawks product, started his second game of the series and shown he is a top goalie prospect in the MJHL.