Oil Caps set to battle Pistons in Turnbull Cup final
The MJHL championship final schedule has been set as the top two teams during the regular season will lock horns in what is sure to be an exciting Turnbull Cup final.
Game 1 of the series will begin on Friday night in Steinbach, while Game 2 will shift to Virden’s Tundra Oil and Gas Place on Sunday.
Tickets will go on sale to Oil Caps season tickets holders only starting on Wednesday at 9 a.m. for Games 2 and 4 at the Oil Caps office only. They will remain on sale until Thursday at 4 p.m.
After 4 p.m. on Thursday, tickets will then become available to everyone at the Oil Caps office, Valleyview Co-op Mini Mart and Virden Sport & Fashion.
Jamie Hodson, director of business and hockey operations for the Oil Capitals, says it’s important for Virden fans to pack the house and to root on their home team.
“Our fans are going to be integral to our home games,” he said. “We’ve had some strong support here throughout the year and into the playoffs. We know that’s only going to build here into the finals. We’d love to have this building sold out.”
Hodson describes the Pistons as a strong team from top to bottom and he expects a high-tempo, highly-skilled series.
“Steinbach has been the top team in our league for the duration of the season and has been nationally ranked as well,” Hodson said. “With that being said, we’re comfortable coming in as the underdog so-to-speak.”
Goaltending is always important at this time of the year and both teams have had tremendous efforts from both their starters in the postseason as Oil Caps netminder Riley McVeigh and Pistons goaltender Matthew Thiessen have both been tough to beat.
“Riley has been playing his best hockey of the year in net,” Hodson added. “Our defence has also really shored up well, particularly in the last series. Up front, we’ve got a deep forward lineup that can play four lines, so it’ll be about pushing the tempo and pushing the pace. We’ll be looking to play an all-around game as we have the first two series. The more puck possession we can have in the offensive end is certainly going to provide scoring opportunities, so puck possession is going to be a big part of this series as both teams really rely on that.”
“We believe in our group,” he added. “This will be a good series.”
Oil Caps head coach and GM Troy Leslie says limiting turnovers will be crucial in the series.
“Especially in the neutral zone and especially in their rink, if you turn pucks over to them, obviously they’re going to attack and make good on their scoring chances,” Leslie said. “I think our special teams are going to have to be good as well. They’ve been good up to this point in the playoffs. We believe in both our power play units and obviously our guys’ ability to kill penalties as a group.”
Series schedule is below: