Welcome fans to tonight’s game six of the MJHL quarter-final series featuring the visiting Winkler Flyers (4) and your hometown Virden Oil Capitals (5). Tonight’s game is brought to you by Fox Tail Hauling Ltd.
Before this series started, you could’ve expected that this series would be going six or more games given how closely these two teams are matched up. What we didn’t expect was just how great this series was going to be up until this point.
With five periods of overtime throughout the first five games of the series, this matchup has been nothing short of what was advertised. There’s been great goaltending on both ends, hard hitting, fast-paced, and heroes have emerged from both line-ups.
Game five in Winkler was maybe the fastest game yet, despite the two teams playing 93:24 of hockey the game before (2nd longest in Oil Caps history – Game 6 in Swan Valley last year was 94:49. Kalashnikov was the overtime hero). A combined 90 shots were fired on goal withSean Kuehn and Devon Fordyce both giving their team every opportunity to win. The Oil Caps got on the board first with a goal from Soren Frederiksen, but a pair of goals from Scott Galland Cam Whyte midway through the period had the momentum flowing in Winkler’s favour. However, a timely power play response from Corey Haverstick tipped the scales back to even after 40 minutes. The third had several chances at both ends, but neither team was able to capitalize in what looked like another game that was heading to overtime. That was until Kurt Johnas redirected a Jordan Greig point shot past Fordyce to give the Oil Caps a 3-2 lead with 1:28 to play. Lucas Oliver sealed it with a 5-on-3 power play goal a minute later and the Oil Caps skated off with a 3-2 series lead. Greig finished the night with four assists.
Tonight, the Oil Caps have earned their opportunity at closing out this series on home ice at Tundra Oil & Gas Place. After losing a pair of games in overtime earlier in the series, they have responded with back-to-back wins to grab an edge in the series. However, the fourth win in a series is always the most difficult to get. You know that Flyers’ bencch boss, Ken Pearson, will make every effort for his guys to stretch this series to seventh and deciding game tomorrow night in Winkler. If there’s anything left of either of these teams, the winner will take on the RBC Cup hosts, the Portage Terriers, starting Wednesday night in Portage.
As for who is in tonight’s line-up, it’s hard to say. There is a separation between what hurt and injured means for most of these players and you would think it would take a lot to keep some of these guys out of tonight’s game for what is at stake. Essentially tonight is a game seven situation for these teams.
There’s very little separating these two teams in this series. Be loud and show your support to give the Oil Caps the edge they need to close this thing out tonight on HOME ICE. GO… CAPS… GO…!!