It took extra time for the Virden Oil Capitals to pick up a big win on Thursday night against the Waywayseecappo Wolverines.
Kyle Salaway netted his 12th of the season at the 1:49 mark of overtime as the Oil Caps edged the Wolverines 5-4 in front of 870 fans at Tundra Oil and Gas Place.
Troy Leslie, head coach and GM of the Oil Caps, praised the effort of the last-place Wolverines club that went into tonight’s contest more than 20 points behind the Oil Caps in the standings.
“We allowed them to gain momentum when we needed momentum,” Leslie said. “We just have to realize that we have to come and play every night.”
The Wolverines – which now include the likes of former Oil Caps Drayson Skulmoski, who ended up scoring on his former squad tonight as well as Darren Gisti and Jesse Korytko after a multi-player deal was consummated late last week – wound up tying the contest 4-4 late in the third period on a goal by Macklin McPhee, which was his second of the night.
“They obviously have some new life injected into them and I thought they played well as a team tonight and really did things well in the hard areas of the ice,” Leslie said. “They got rewarded for it.”
The Oil Caps took a 2-0 lead into the dressing room after 20 minutes of play as Graeme Hore picked up his eighth of the year at the 14:08 mark of the first period, followed by Brayden Pawluk scoring his second of the season just a few minutes later.
Wayway responded early in the second as Riley Vautour scored his 12th of the year just 41 seconds into the middle frame. Tyler Kirkup scored what would be his first of two goals on the night at the 11:39 mark to make it 3-1 for Virden. The Wolverines never backed down however as Skulmoski terrorized his former squad just a few minutes later, cutting into the lead before McPhee’s first goal on the night tied the game 3-3 heading into the third.
The Oil Caps ended up reclaiming the lead as Kirkup picked up his 15th of the season a little less than 13 minutes into the third before McPhee’s late tying marker.
Dalton Dosch stopped 27 of 31 shots to pick up the win in net for Virden, while Issac Labelle turned aside 47 pucks to take the loss between the pipes for the Wolverines.
Next game action for the Oil Caps: Tomorrow night in Neepawa. Game time: 7:30 p.m.
Dalke returns from injury
Veteran forward Ben Dalke returned from a fairly lengthy injury tonight for the Oil Caps. Dalke ended up with two assists and was the third star on the night.
“It feels really good to be back,” he said with a smile.