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Zimmer scores OT winner as Oil Caps defeat Blizzard

The Virden Oil Capitals moved into second place overall in the MJHL standings after the club picked up a 5-4 overtime win over the OCN Blizzard on Thursday night at Tundra Oil and Gas Place.

Rylee Zimmer scored the game winner, netting his 16th of the season just 13 seconds into extra time as the Oil Caps continued their strong play in 2018 with their fourth win in five games in January.

Special teams played a part in the first period as Riley Shamray scored his ninth of the season shorthanded at the 4:17 mark to give the Blizzard a 1-0 lead. The Oil Capitals responded later in the period (10:38) as Landyn Cochrane’s seventh of the season on the power play tied the contest 1-1 after 20 minutes.

Tyler Kirkup picked up his team-leading 23rd tally of the year on the power play just 54 seconds into the middle frame to give the home team its first lead of the night before Eamonn Miller’s eighth of the season at 14:53 notted things up once again. Jeran Knorr would later reply for the Oil Caps with his 18th on the campaign to give Virden a 3-2 lead after two periods.

The third period saw the Oil Caps in penalty trouble as the Blizzard wound up taking advantage, scoring two goals with the man advantage – Trygve Many Guns with his eighth of the year at 4:16 and Riley Bruce with his seventh of the season at 17:57 – gave the visiting team a 4-3 lead. That lead was short-lived however as Jayden Wojciechowski’s strong play continues  as the Virden blueliner scored his fifth of the season with a little over a minute remaining to send it to overtime. The Thunder Bay product scored twice in the club’s last game.

Although picking up the win was big for the Oil Caps, veteran forward Kirklan Lycar – who ended up being named the first star on the night with three assists – knows the club can take it to another level on the ice.

“Overall, I thought we could’ve been better in a lot of areas,” he said. “It was nice to get the two points obviously. We had a little bit of a lapse to start the third period but as a team it’s good for us to just stick with it. We’re an older, mature group and it was good for us to find a way there.”

Riley McVeigh picked up the win between the pipes stopping 25 of 29 shots, while Emilien Boily took the loss in net for OCN.

Extra Notes:

  • Special teams was a factor tonight. Both teams scored twice with the man advantage.
  • Riley Shamray of OCN was named the second star with a goal and an assist, while Landyn Cochrane of Virden was the third star with a goal and two assists.
  • Attendance at TOGP: 715
  • Not only did Rylee Zimmer net the OT winner, he was also tonight’s Redfern Farm Services hardest working player.