Oil Capitals & Titans set for first round matchup

As the final weekend of the regular season continues, most teams now know who their first-round opponent will be after Friday night while the Nighthawks and Steelers still battle it out to get into the McMunn & Yates Turnbull Cup Playoffs.

Next up, we take a look at the first round series between two clubs in the MGEU West Division. It will be the (1) Virden Oil Capitals vs (4) Neepawa Titans in round one. Last season, the Oil Capitals fell to the Steinbach Pistons in the Turnbull Cup Final while the Titans earn their first playoff appearance since 2017.

Season Series: Vir vs Nep: Sep 26th 7-3 Virden, Nov 29th 4-3 Neepawa in overtime, Jan 16th 4-2 Neepawa, Feb 10th 5-4 Neepawa in overtime, Feb 16th 5-1 Virden, Mar 2nd 4-2 Virden

Last 10 Games:
Virden: 5-5
Neepawa: 6-4

Last 5 Games:
Virden: 3-2, 15 goals for, 10 goals against
Neepawa: 2-3, 18 goals for, 17 goals against


Neepawa has been one of the most interesting teams to watch all season. When it looks like they’re down and out, they bounce back with some intense, highly entertaining hockey. When it looks like they’ve figured it out and are going to go on a lengthy run, they stumble and can’t string positive results together. They’ve been pushed for a while now and after slipping out of the final playoff spot, the team came together and pushed right back in. There’s a belief with the group and that makes them a dangerous bunch now that they’ve secured their spot.

While just quietly going about their business, the Oil Caps will wait and be ready for whomever they square off against in the opening round. They’ve been pushed a bit and while they haven’t locked in top spot, the group knows this is the time to start building up for what they expect to be a lengthy playoff run. Coming so close last year, the Oil Caps believe they have the depth, the scoring, the goaltending and the mentality to get over the hump and bring home a championship but they can’t look past the first round, which in the MGEU West has always been a bit of a roll of the dice.

Series Positives and Concerns


Positive: Deep and Heavy. All four lines are fast, can hit and can score. The Oil Caps put constant pressure on the opposition and it’s hard to stick with them for a full game. Defenders get knocked around and wingers trying to get pucks out along the wall often pay the price for doing so. Not many clubs can withstand the Oil Caps way of hockey.

Concern: Key Goals at Key Times. Virden has a high-powered offense, and they can grind games down. They don’t allow many goals against but when the time comes for a big goal in a big moment, they’ need the biggest stars to shine brightest. They can get frustrated when things don’t come easy, so it’ll be up to the leadership to keep everyone on the same page and find a way through adversity.

Key Player – Goaltender Eric Reid


Positive: Belief and Tested. They’ve been playing playoff style hockey for weeks now. The group knows what they’re about, knows what they need to do to be successful and can go about executing the game plan. More offensive weapons than they’re given credit for, the Titans are a scary team that plays on the edge. They’re fast and make teams pay if they get too focused on chasing offense.

Concern: Clearing The Zone. The Titans have done a much better job lowering the goals against, especially against some high-powered offensive teams. But, in a playoff series, things move a little faster, the game becomes a little more hectic and errors are magnified. Goaltending has proven they can step up when needed but if the team doesn’t move pucks from the zone and shots against pile up, it could be for long nights and a short series.

Key Player – Forward Hayden Stocks