The Oil Caps travelled to Winnipeg on Sunday and wound up falling 6-2 to the Blues at the Bell MTS Iceplex.
Virden found themselves behind early as Dylan Cassie netted his fourth of the year at the 6:10 mark of the first period as the Blues held a 1-0 lead after 20 minutes.
The Blues would then add on to their lead in the second on goals from Ty Naaykens (1:01 mark) and Mikol Sartor, who scored his third of the season shorthanded just 41 seconds later as Winnipeg jumped ahead 3-0.
The Oil Caps would make a game of it in the third as Brett Paddock’s seventh tally at 2:18 followed by Dylan Halliday’s 11thof the year on the power play at 9:52 made it 3-2 but that’s as close as Virden would come as the Blues would tack on three more goals off the sticks of Braeden Binda (11:10 mark), Sulivan Shortreed (11:42) and Griffin Chwaliboga at 17:15 to put the game on ice for Winnipeg.
“I thought we had a couple tough bounces tonight, but games like that with teams close in the standings, it comes down to playing right,” said Oil Caps blueliner Brayden Pawluk. “By that I mean playing 200 feet, going to the dirty areas of the ice and giving 110 per cent effort every shift and tonight we didn’t do that.”
Jeremy Link stopped 28 shots between the pipes for Winnipeg to pick up his 16thwin of the season, while the duo of Dalton Dosch and Riley Wallace combined to make 39 stops in the loss for Virden.
“It felt like we just didn’t play a full 60 minutes like we need to every night,” said Virden defenceman Tristen Cross. “We couldn’t really string together anything in the offensive zone and didn’t win the battles in the little areas when we needed to, and I think in the end, that was what tipped the game in the Blues’ favour.”
Next up for the Oil Caps:Tuesday night in Virden against Swan Valley. Game time: 7:30 p.m.