The Virden Oil Capitals evened up the best of seven MJHL Quarterfinal Series 2-2 with a 4-3 triple overtime win, Tuesday night at Tundra Oil & Gas Place. Brett Klassen scored twice in the last six minutes of the third period to get the game to overtime before Oil Caps captain Ben Williams scored 3:24 into the sixth period to give Virden the win in game four.
Heading back to Virden for the second time in the series, the Flyers were looking to take a commanding 3-1 series lead after winning games one and two in overtime on the weekend. Game four was just as tight as the previous three games of the series with each game so far being decided by a single goal.
Just like they had done in the first three games, Winkler took a 1-0 lead. After taking a pass in the left wing corner in the offensive zone, Cam Whyte carried the puck towards the front of the net and flicked a backhander over the shoulder of goaltender Sean Kuehn giving the Flyers the lead. Ryne Keller and Scott Gall assisted on Whyte’s second of the post-season, 3:19 into the game.
At the nine minute mark of the period, Virden forward Lucas Oliver tied the game. Still tied 1-1 late in the second period, Ben Williams scored a power-play goal with 58 seconds left on the clock, giving the Oil Capitals a 2-1 lead.
The home side added to their lead in the third period when Soren Frederiksen scored his second goal in as many games putting Virden in front 3-1, with 10:27 to play in regulation. However, Winkler did not lie down and kept the pressure on.
With 6:03 to play, Brett Klassen tucked in his first through the five-hole of Kuehn with Bryce Enns and Zak Hicks drawing the assists. Now down by just a goal, the Flyers would get the equalizer with 2:25 to play in the third.
Taking the pass from Scott Gall in the neutral zone, Brett Klassen skated down the right wing and beat Kuehn with a wrist shot, tying the game 3-3 with his second goal of the night. Erasing a late two goal deficit, the Flyers had come all the way back to force overtime for the third game.
Both teams had their chances in the first 10 minute overtime period but the game remained 3-3 into period five. With goaltenders Devon Fordyce and Sean Kuehn standing tall between the pipes, the game moved into the sixth period still tied.
Early in the triple overtime period, Winkler came within inches of scoring the game winner, but it was not meant to be. With 3:24 gone in the period, Ben Williams found the puck off a scrambled faceoff in the Winkler zone and beat Fordyce blocker side giving the Oil Caps the 4-3, series tying win.
Devon Fordyce (2-1) made 48 saves in the loss as Virden outshot Winkler 52-33 overall. The Flyers went 0-for-5 on the power-play, including a lengthy 5-on-3 and two overtime power-plays. Virden was 1-for-2 on the man advantage. The Flyers generated many great scoring chances late, with Tristan Keck hitting the post on a few occasions both in the second period and in the overtime frames.
The series now shifts back to Winkler for game five, tied 2-2. Game five will be played on Thursday, March 19th, 7:30pm at the Winkler Recreation Complex. Advance tickets can be purchased at the Winkler Coop Gas Bar.
NOTE: Defenseman Lawson McDonald left the game in the second period and did not return. Captain Patrice Wren and Kayden Jarvis missed their second consecutive game of the series. They are all listed as day-to-day.