Oil Caps take 2-0 series lead

Oil Caps come out strong, defeat Flyers in Game 2

The Oil Caps put forth a strong performance from start to finish on Sunday night, defeating the Flyers 5-2 in Winkler, and in the process, were able to take a 2-0 lead in their best-of-seven semifinal series.

“I thought we were really solid right through the whole 60 minutes,” said Oil Caps head coach and GM Troy Leslie. “There were times where we turned the puck over a little bit, but you know what, for the most part tonight we were really good and had possession for a good chunk of time.”

The Oil Caps came out flying early in the first and were rewarded for their efforts as co-captain Dylan Thiessen ended up netting his second goal of the postseason just a minute and 23 seconds into the contest, giving Virden a 1-0 lead. The Flyers would eventually respond however as Trent Halfdanson was able to find the back of the net at the 7:27 mark, tying the contest 1-1.

Virden reclaimed the lead later in the period (15:21) as Josh Belcher’s first goal of the playoffs made it 2-1 for the Oil Caps, who outshot the Flyers 20-12 in the opening frame.

The Oil Caps continued to get pucks to the net, all the while, limiting the Flyers scoring opportunities in the second period as Jeran Knorr picked up his fourth of the playoffs at the 3:39 mark, giving the Oil Caps their first two-goal lead of the game. Although the Oil Caps remained persistent in their quick transition game, continually getting pucks out of the zone quickly and effectively, they did end up allowing another Flyers tally as Cole Kirkup’s power play marker at 9:50 made it just a one goal game after 40 minutes.

A key moment in the game was when Oil Caps blueliner Morgan Magwood took a minor penalty for interference just 43 seconds into the final frame. Virden wound up killing the penalty off, riding the momentum the rest of the way.

“Our penalty kill has been good all series,” Leslie said. “Tonight was a really good example of us being really solid when we had to be on the kill.”

A Marco Creta power play goal at the 15:22 mark followed by an empty-netter with less than a minute to go sealed the deal for the Oil Caps.

Riley McVeigh picked up the win in net for Virden, stopping 30 shots, while Troy Martyniuk took the loss in the crease for Winkler, turning aside 44 pucks directed his way.

With the win, the Oil Caps will look to put a stranglehold on the series on Tuesday night at Tundra Oil and Gas Place. Game time for Game 3 is set for 7:30 p.m.


Extra Notes:

-Marco Creta had one goal and two assists for the Oil Caps and was the first star of the game, followed by Flyers netminder Troy Martyniuk and Jeran Knorr, who was the third star.

-Leslie on upcoming Game 3 in Virden: “They’re all important. We need to have a good start again. Obviously we have momentum going into Game 3 so we need a good start to keep it going.”

-The Oil Caps outshot Winkler 48-33 on the night.