The Oil Caps dropped a tightly-contested game on Sunday night to the Portage Terriers by a score of 6-5 in a shootout at Tundra Oil and Gas Place.
Logan Calder fired home the shootout game winner for the Terriers, who currently stand alone in first place in the MJHL standings (10-3-0-0 record). The Oil Caps meanwhile, dropped to 2-5-1-4 on the season.
“We’re optimistic moving forward as we took the first-place team to a shootout even though we know we can play better in certain areas of the ice,” said Oil Caps captain Ben Dalke.
The Terriers opened the scoring just 30 seconds into the contest on a tally from Caelan McPhee before the Oil Caps responded with two goals of their own, starting with Brayden Pawluk’s second of the season at 11:41 (assisted by Parker Brakebill) and later Hunter Cloutier’s fifth of the year (assisted by Kolten Kanaski and Jayden Wojciechowski) at 14:10 on the power play. The Terriers would tie the game 2-2 late in the period (19:43) as Jacob Brown would fire home his fourth of the year with the man advantage.
The middle frame saw Lane Taylor of the Terriers pick up his first of two goals on the night at the 2:18 mark before Tristan Thompson’s unassisted effort at 6:01 would knot it back up at three apiece. Cloutier’s second goal of the game at 11:20 (Dalke and Kanaski with the assists) made it 4-3 for the home team.
The score remained that way until the 11:38 mark of the third period as Taylor’s second of the night tied the game once again before Kanaski’s sixth of the year (assisted by McCullough Park and Brakebill) made it 5-4 for Virden at 14:10. Unfortunately, the Oil Caps couldn’t hold the lead as Reilly Funk’s power play marker late in the game (17:30) tied the contest yet again.
After a scoreless overtime, fans ended up witnessing a six-round shootout as both clubs went toe-to-toe in what was an entertaining affair.
“I thought the team played a good game but at the end of the day, we didn’t get the result we were looking for,” Cloutier said.
Nathan Moore turned aside 21 shots directed his way for the win in net for Portage, while Oil Caps goaltender Riley Wallace made 32 stops in the loss.
Next up for the Oil Caps: another home game against the Swan Valley Stampeders tomorrow night. Game time: 7:30 p.m.