The Virden Oil Capitals won two of three contests in their three-game road swing this weekend to cap off a solid month of November. Friday night saw the team go into Steinbach and beat the Pistons 4-3 in a shootout. They couldn’t put things together on Saturday as they fell 5-0 to the Blues before redeeming themselves on Sunday with a character 6-4 road win in Winkler against the Flyers.
The Oil Caps and Pistons traded goals throughout the contest on Friday until the final buzzer which left the two teams tied 3-3. Overtime solved nothing, resulting in a shootout. Colin Baudry shot first for the Pistons who beat Sean Kuehn to go up 1-0. Taylor Fisher took his turn for the Oil Caps and opted to blast a slap shot on his attempt that beat Nick Deery to tie it at 1-1. Kuehn stopped the next Pistons shooter before Soren Frederiksen scored again for the Oil Caps to go up 2-1. This proved to be enough as Kuehn made the final stop in the three-man shootout to lift the Oil Caps to a 4-3 win over the fourth place Pistons. Mack Hardy, Jordan Greig, and Frederiksen had the goals for the Oil Caps in regulation who got 33 saves from Kuehn in the win.
Saturday night witnessed the Oil Caps lay an egg in Winnipeg and be shut out 5-0 by the Blues. Starting net minder, Cam Pateman, was on the hook for all five goals after having 34 shots fired at him on the night. The Oil Caps only generated 18 in his defense and their seven game point streak was snapped. It was just the first time that Virden had been shut out all season since they were shut out in their home opener against the Terriers.
On Sunday, Virden traveled to Winkler to take on the second place Flyers in an afternoon matinee matchup. The league leader in goals, Tristan Keck, opened the scoring in the first with his 26th of the season before Tyler Ham responded just 33 seconds later to tie the game at 1-1. Cam Whyte restored the lead f0r Winkler 18 seconds later and the Flyers had their 1-goal lead back. Devan Schram answered for the Oil Caps to draw the game even, but it was Keck again who gave the Flyers a 3-2 lead after 20 minutes.
It was all Virden in the second as they outshot the Flyers 9-3 and got goals from Ben Williams and Schram on the power play to take a 4-3 lead to the dressing room after the second.
The Flyers pressured early in the third and were finally rewarded with the game-tying marker eight minutes into the period to tie it at 4-4. The Oil Caps got momentum rolling on their side and the Flyers took a timely too many men penalty with less than three minutes to play. That’s when Dylan Thiessen buried his ninth of the season to give the Oil Caps the 5-4 lead with 1:15 to play. Williams sealed the deal as he buried his 13th of the year into the open net to make it a 6-4 final. Kuehn picked up the win in goal, kicking aside 21 of 25 shots he faced.
Sunday’s win came without Clay Van Diest, Lucas Oliver, Corey Haverstick, and Jake Dudar who are all nursing injuries. The win was the team’s seventh in their last 10 games who are 7-2-1 during that span and 7-3-2 in the month of November.
During the team’s recent success, they’ve been acknowledged with two MJHL Recycle Everywhere Player of the Month awards in Devan Schram and Sean Kuehn – Both of whom’s efforts have been very consistent over the last month.
The Oil Caps have the week off to prepare for their next action on Saturday against the Dauphin Kings (10-15-4). Saturday night is the team’s annual TSL Teddy Bear Toss along with the unveiling of the team’s new mascot. Fans are encouraged to bring a new or gently used stuffed animal to throw on the ice after the Oil Caps score their first goal. All animals will be collected and donated to the Virden Christmas Cheer.
Virden will play the Steinbach Pistons on Sunday in a rare afternoon 2:30 matchup. It is the MGEU Skate with the Oil Caps following the game so make sure you bring you skates to the game.