Resilient Oil Caps claw back, defeat Steelers

The Oil Caps kicked off the month of December with a big 6-4 comeback win over the visiting Selkirk Steelers on Tuesday night at Tundra Oil and Gas Place.

With the Steelers holding a three-goal lead near the midway mark of the second period, the Oil Caps began to claw back as Jack Einarson picked up his first of two at the 10:04 mark of the middle frame to make it 3-1 before Dylan Halliday’s power play tally approximately two and half minutes later (12:42) brought Virden to within one. Hunter Cloutier’s 11thof the season at 17:55 tied the score at three apiece.

The third saw the Oil Caps complete the comeback as the club scored three of the four goals in the period. Einarson’s ninth of the season at 10:41 made it 4-3 for Virden before Selkirk rallied to tie the game as Blake Burr’s first the season at 11:53 knotted things up at four. The Oil Caps however would not be denied the victory on this night as Cloutier’s second of the night and 12th of the year at 18:08 gave the Oil Caps the lead once again, while Josh Belcher’s sixth of the season in an empty net at 19:34 sealed the deal for Virden as they improved to 13-11-1-4 on the year.

“I thought we had a slow start to the game and obviously getting down 3-0 is not the way we want to play,” said Tyson Ramsey, Oil Caps assistant coach. “But I thought our guys were able to dig in and claw our way back to the way we want to play. There were large parts of the second and third that were the fastest we’ve played in a while and we feel like when we play that, we’re hard to play against.”

Brady Pupp’s third of the year at 6:40 of the first period opened the scoring for the Steelers, who held a 1-0 lead after 20 minutes. Brett Namaka’s tally at 6:38 of the second followed by Jackson Kobelka’s goal at 7:59 made it 3-0 for Selkirk at that point. With the loss, the Steelers dropped to 15-10-1-2.

Dalton Dosch, who was named the MGEU MJHL goaltender of the month earlier in the day, made 27 stops to pick up the win, while Zach Bennett turned aside 30 shots in the loss for Selkirk.

“It took a lot of character for our group to come from behind like that and it felt a little extra sweet in the end,” said Oil Caps captain Ben Dalke. “Proud of the group and it will help us bring some confidence into Portage tomorrow.”

Next up for the Oil Caps: Wednesday night in Portage against the Terriers. Game time: 7:30 p.m.