The Oil Caps put forth another solid effort on Tuesday night but it wasn’t meant to be as Virden dropped a 3-1 decision to the Swan Valley Stampeders at Tundra Oil and Gas Place.
“Overall, we played a pretty good game,” said Oil Caps forward Kolten Kanaski. “If we clean up where they scored their goals, we come out on top of that game.”
After a scoreless first period that saw both netminders stand tall in their respective creases, it was the Oil Caps who drew first blood on this night. Virden captain Ben Dalke netted his fourth of the year early in the middle frame (1:14 mark) on the power play (assisted by Jack Einarson and Hunter Cloutier).
The score would remain 1-0 for the Oil Caps until 2:21 of the third when Josh Tripp sniped his sixth of the campaign to tie the contest before Quintin Sudom made it 2-1 for the road team just nine seconds later.
The Oil Caps continued to mount pressure but were unable to solve Michael Davis a second time as the Stamps goaltender turned aside 14 Virden shots in the third to preserve the win for Swan Valley. Bradly Goethals scored a shorthanded tally with just 21 seconds left to ice the game for the Stampeders, who improved to 9-2-1-0 on the year.
Dalton Dosch made 26 saves in net for Virden in the loss as the Oil Caps dropped to 2-6-1-4.
“It was a tough one for sure and when you look at the result and at our record it’s easy to become frustrated as a group,” said Oil Caps assistant coach Tyson Ramsey. “However, if you look at the big picture, we’re making strides everyday and we probably played one of our best games as a group last night against a very good Stampeders team.”
Ramsey says the club needs to stick to the process, all the while, continuing to improve each day.
“We truly believe that if we do that and stick together as a group, then the results will come. As a coaching staff, we’re real proud of the way this group has handled this adversity so early in the season.”
Power play continues to shine
A silver lining to the game for the Oil Caps is the club’s continued success with the man advantage. After scoring yet again on the power play, the club now sits at 22.6 per cent on the year, which has them sitting second overall in the league.
Next up for the Oil Caps:
The Oil Caps travel to Selkirk to battle the Steelers on Saturday night. Game time: 7 p.m.