Oil Caps rout Blues on Thursday night

The Oil Caps scored early and often in what ended up being a 12-3 rout of the Winnipeg Blues on Thursday night at Tundra Oil and Gas Place.

It was the most goals scored by the Oil Caps this season as the home team showcased their offensive prowess all night long.

“We kind of got ourselves in a good spot after the first period and ended up having a good night,” said Oil Caps head coach and GM Troy Leslie.

Several Oil Caps players enjoyed stellar nights statistically, including veteran forward Jeran Knorr whose five-point night began just 3:13 into the game. After Dexter Kuczek responded for the Blues approximately three minutes later, Virden exploded with five unanswered in the opening frame. Kyle Salaway scored his 26th of the year at 7:13, followed by Knorr’s second of the game at 11:04. Ben Dalke would make it 4-1 at 14:46 before Rylee Zimmer would score back-to-back tallies at 15:29 and 17:29 respectively to make it 6-1 after 20 minutes.

Oil Caps leading scorer Tyler Kirkup would get in on the goal scoring fun 4:05 into the second before Kolten Kanaski made it 8-1 less than two minutes later. After Levi Cudmore responded for the Blues at 7:28, Salaway’s second of the night brought the goal total to nine for Virden at the 9:04 mark. Winnipeg’s Cam Olstad would then make it 9-3 just 24 seconds later.

The Oil Caps would light the lamp three more times in the final frame as Jack Einarson (1:18), Josh Belcher (4:38) and Knorr’s third of the night at 5:22 wrapped up the goal scoring on this night.

Leslie says he doesn’t remember the last time a team he coached had scored 12 goals in a game.

“It was nice to see a lot of different guys contribute tonight. It was nice to be able to roll four lines and use all of our six D – obviously everybody was rolling pretty good tonight.”

Despite the lopsided score, Leslie says it was nice to have guys maintain their focus throughout the contest.

“We made sure that we’re not trying to get too many guys going on the offence and to make sure that we’re being aware of our responsibilities defensively as well. To our guys credit, they stuck to the plan tonight and were rewarded for it.”

Riley McVeigh picked up his 24th win of the season in net for Virden, while Adam Swan and Jeremy Link combined to take the loss between the pipes for the Blues.


Extra Notes:

-Kyle Salaway also had a big night on the scoresheet with two goals and three assists.

– Twin Valley Co-op three stars: Jeran Knorr as No. 1 star, followed by Kyle Salaway as star No. 2 and Rylee Zimmer (two goals) as star No. 3.

– The Redfern Farm Services hardest working player tonight was No. 16 Josh Belcher.

– The Oil Caps next home game is the club’s regular season finale, which is slated for Saturday, March 3 against the Dauphin Kings.