Second round preview | Flyers & Oil Capitals

It will be the Winkler Flyers & Virden Oil Capitals meeting in the second round of the McMunn & Yates Turnbull Cup Playoffs when the puck drops on Friday night in Winkler for game one.


*After Round 1, the teams re-seed by league standings giving Winkler home ice advantage over Virden in Round 2.

(2) Winkler Flyers vs (3) Virden Oil Capitals

Series Overview

This will be a must watch series from the moment the puck drops until whomever is able to come out on top. Two of the top teams in the league are meeting for the chance to get to the finals. For Virden, looking to get there for a second straight season while the Flyers are desperate for a chance to hoist the trophy for the first time in a long time. Both teams can skate, both are physical, both have good goaltending, and both have elite scoring. On paper, there’s only slight edges that go one way or the other.

Special teams may be a factor as the Virden penalty kill is coming off an excellent series and they’ll need to be good against one of the most feared power plays in the country. The Flyers penalty kill unit was touched up a bit in the first round and they’ll need to be at their best to keep the high scoring Oil Caps from finding the back of the net. It could come down to which team can play the most physically on the edge without spending the most time in the penalty box.

All the regular season games were close and at times, emotionally charged and penalty filled. Both teams don’t like each other, and this series is sure to have high emotions throughout. Home fans will play a factor. The Winkler arena is one of the hardest buildings to play in, they’re loud, they’re dialed in and they’re always backing their team. Virden’s not far behind with a dedicated fan base that is loud and into every minute of hockey from start to finish. Both teams should see quite a few fans make the trip to the other respective arenas.

Series Positives and Concerns:

Winkler Flyers

Positive – Soft Hands Of Stone: The Flyers can take a page out of their namesake from back in the day, beating you up in the alley and on the ice. They have players who love to bang bodies and then go and showcase some elite goal scoring ability. They’ve found key goals from all over their lineup showing off the depth that helped them pot 234 goals in the regular season. They’ll look to put Virden in positions to take penalties by using their speed and playing hard even after the whistle has gone. If they can earn more penalties than they take, they’ll be in good shape.

Concerns – Living in the Penalty Box: If the Flyers start marking penalty minutes like prisoner’s chalking up days served on the wall, they’ll be in for a long but maybe short series. Everyone knows emotions are going to be high. The fans for sure are going to be vocal on both sides. It’s going to be up to the leaders on the Flyers bench to find that razors edge of what makes them feared and successful but without setting a record for penalty minutes in a playoff series. Though they can be dangerous shorthanded, it’s probably not the way they want to spend the bulk of the game.

Virden Oil Capitals

Positive – Goals From Everywhere: Virden has 7 players that have scored 2 or more goals coming into the second round. Out of the 17 goals those 7 players have scored, just 3 have come on the power play. To beat a team like Winkler, Virden must be a constant threat, and with the lineup clicking from almost everywhere, anyone can be dangerous at any time. The Oil Caps will say there’s not much to take away from regular season numbers except for the fact they outshot Winkler in all four contests this year. More shots mean more chances which could lead to more goals.

Concern – Bending Not Breaking: Virden is a very big, physical, fast team. Winkler is going to try and take all of that to another level. If Virden moves pucks slowly, the Flyers, especially early in the series, are going to make them pay. It’s not all about the big highlight reel hit, it’s the grind along the boards, banging into bodies after the puck is gone, lean on the defensemen in front of the net shift after shift that can weigh on teams. Virden’s challenge will be moving pucks quickly but smartly. When they do get into trouble, weather storms, and find a way to keep the Flyers from dominating puck control in the offensive zone. Bending is fine but they’ll need to work as a collective unit to ensure they don’t break.

Series Stats: Winkler vs Portage Terriers (Winkler won series 4-1)

Power Play: 5/20 = 25%
Penalty Kill: 12/17 = 70.5% (1 shorthanded goal)
Goals For: 20
Goals Against: 11

Top Scorers:
Jayce Legaarden – 6 points
Trent Penner – 6 points
Avery Anderson – 6 points
Dalton Andrew – 5 points
Connor Jensen/Isaiah Peters – 5 points

Series Stats: Virden vs Neepawa Titans (Virden won series 4-2)
Power Play: 5/21 = 23.8%
Penalty Kill: 14/15 = 93.3% (1 shothanded goal)
Goals For: 22
Goals Against: 16

Top Scorers:
Josh Lehto – 8 points
Roux Bazin – 5 points
Evan Groening – 5 points
Bryce Bryant – 5 points
Trevor Hunt – 5 points

Season Series Winkler vs Virden
December 1st – Virden wins 5-4 in overtime in Virden
Win- Eric Reid 20/24
Loss – Malachi Klassen 37/42
Virden PP – 1/5
Winkler PP – 1/3

Oil Caps Stats:
Bazin – 2 goals including OT winner
Lehto – 1 goal, 1 assist
Bielik and Hunt – 2 assists

Flyers Stats:
Nicolas – 2 goals
George – 2 assists
Legaarden – 2 assists

December 19th – Virden wins 2-1 in Virden
Win – Eric Reid 10/11
Loss – Liam Ernst 22/24
Virden PP – 0/4
Winkler PP – 0/2

Oil Caps Stats:
Bazin – 2 assists
Miller – 1 goal
Englot – 1 goal

Flyers Stats:
Andrew – 1 goal
Penner – 1 assist
Jensen – 1 assist

March 1st – Winkler wins 4-3 in Winkler
Win – Malachi Klassen 35/38
Loss – Eric Reid 30/34
Winkler PP – 3/6
Virden PP – 0/1

Flyers Stats:
Andrew – 2 goals
Penner – 1 goal, 2 assists
Jensen – 2 assists

Oil Caps Stats:
Lane – 1 goal
Groening – 1 goal
Miller – 1 goal

March 13th – Virden wins 4-2 in Winkler
Win – Eric Reid 28/30
Loss – Malachi Klassen 33/37
Virden PP – 3/7
Winkler PP – 2/5

Oil Caps Stats:
Lane – 2 goals
Hunt – 1 goal, 2 assists
Lehto – 2 assists

Flyers Stats:
Craik – 1 goal
Nicolas – 1 goal