The Virden Oil Capitals played their first Manitoba Junior Hockey League playoff game on Saturday, but their first playoff goal will have to wait.
Cole Holowenko made 31 saves for the shutout as the Swan Valley Stampeders blanked the Oil Capitals 3-0 in Game 1 of their Sher-Wood Division semifinal in Virden. Although the final score didn’t go his way, Oil Capitals head coach Troy Leslie wasn’t bothered by the game.
"We just had trouble scoring," he said. "I thought we out-chanced them and had a couple posts and a crossbar and it was just one of those nights where we couldn’t get the puck to go in."
First-period goals 1:48 apart by Bo Sigurdson and Nic Erb sent the Stampeders on their way to the victory, with Max Flanagan rounding out the scoring in the second period.
Adam Iwan made 22 saves for Virden, while Cole Holowenko made 31 stops for the shutout.
The Oil Capitals now travel to Swan River for Game 2 of the best-of-seven series today, and Leslie doesn’t think his players need to do much different to get Virden back on even ground.
"Obviously the result wasn’t what we wanted, but our guys are upbeat and we felt pretty good about our effort," he said.
In Sunday’s games, it was: Dauphin Kings 5, OCN Blizzard 0; Portage Terriers 3, Steinbach Pistons 1; and Winnipeg Blues 5, Selkirk Steelers 0.
Kings 5 Blizzard 0
At Dauphin, Killarney’s Jesse Bernard scored once, while Souris’s Tanner Butler and Brandonite Mitch Van Teeling added helpers as the Kings won the opening game in their best-of-seven Sher-Wood Division semifinal.Tanner Lomsnes, Dylan Butler and Chandler Irvin all added a goal and an assist for the Kings, with Justin Valentino supplying the other marker.
Michael Stiliadis made 24 saves for the shutout. Killarney’s Brian Archibald stopped 32 shots for the Blizzard, who will host Game 2 on Tuesday in The Pas.
Terriers 3 Pistons 1
At Portage la Prairie, Riley Hay scored twice in the second period and Elkhorn’s Taylor Sanheim added an insurance marker in the third as the Terriers tied up their best-of-seven Addison Division semifinal at a game apiece. Brad Bowles of Elkhorn picked up an assist for Portage, which got 30 saves from Talor Joseph.
Suede Omeasoo replied for the Pistons, who host Game 3 on Wednesday night.
Late Friday night, Damien Kulynych scored in the second overtime period to lift the Pistons to a 4-3 win in Steinbach.
Blues 5 Steelers 0
At Selkirk, Mack Heisinger scored twice, Joel Schreyer picked up three assists and Byron Spriggs stopped 16 shots for the shutout as the Blues opened their best-of-seven Addison Division semifinal with a victory.
Braeden Ostepchuk stopped 21 of the 26 shots he faced in 49:18 for the Steelers, who were the best team in the regular season, before giving way to Nathan Park, who made four saves.
The Blues will host Game 2 on Tuesday.
» Brandon Sun