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Oil Caps to battle Winkler Flyers in MJHL semifinal

The Virden Oil Capitals will battle the Winkler Flyers in an MJHL semifinal series, beginning on Friday night at Tundra Oil and Gas Place.

The Oil Capitals won four out of the six contests between the two clubs during the regular season, with the Flyers winning the last meeting on Feb. 24 in Winkler in a shootout.

Jamie Hodson, director or business and hockey operations for the Oil Capitals, expects a tightly-contested, exciting series.

Winkler is a hardworking team, it’s a big part of their team success, so momentum shifts will be huge,” he said. “There are many skilled guys on both teams and two fast teams with guys who can skate and who can move the puck quickly. Both starting goalies are playing well.”

Troy Leslie, head coach and GM of the Oil Caps, says in order for Virden to advance in this series, they need to play to their strengths.

“We’re a good transition team and we get pucks up the ice quickly,” he said. “We have to make sure that when we do get the opportunity to get pucks deep and play in their zone, that we do it as much as possible.”

Leslie says the Flyers play a similar game to the Oil Caps, so it’s imperative the Oil Caps limit turnovers.

“When you’re playing a team like the Flyers who play well transitionally, any turnovers at the bluelines are going to be killer. We need to make sure that we’re managing the puck well.”

He says special teams will also be important in the series.

“Our power play served us well in the first round. Both our power play and our penalty kill are going to be key in this next series.”

The series schedule is below.

Tickets to the first two Oil Caps home games of the series are available for season ticket holders until Wednesday at 5 p.m. Tickets will become available for everyone else starting Wednesday at 5 p.m. at the Oil Caps office, Valleyview Co-op Mini Mart and Virden Sport & Fashion.