Sports Local Hockey

Dogs drop first of the year

By Brian Oliver, The Graphic

Riley McVeigh peers around a Turner Ripplinger screen during the Oil Caps 4-1 win over Portage Sunday at Stride Place in Portage la Prairie. (Brian Oliver/The Graphic)

Riley McVeigh peers around a Turner Ripplinger screen during the Oil Caps 4-1 win over Portage Sunday at Stride Place in Portage la Prairie. (Brian Oliver/The Graphic)

The winning streak ends at four.

The visiting Virden Oil Capitals scored four unanswered goals to down the Terriers 4-1 this evening and put an end to the Dogs' winning streak while also handing Portage its first loss of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL) regular season tonight at Stride Place in Portage la Prairie.

"Both games this weekend I thought we didn't seem to have as much jump as we needed to," said Blake Spiller, head coach/GM of the Terriers - although the Terriers managed to win Saturday night against Neepawa. "We didn't seem to have the effort or the jump that we needed to and at the same time we missed a couple easy tap ins to either get the lead there or get us back in (the game)."

Turner Ripplinger's second of the year opened the scoring on a first period powerplay but Virden responded before the end of the first to take a 1-1 tie into intermission. Ben Dalke snapped home a pass from the Terrier slot that beat Brock Aiken high over his blocker hand and in turn, decimated the water bottle that sat atop the net.

Tyler Kirkup helped the Oil Caps to their first lead of the game early in the second after deflecting home Dalke's shot attempt and before the period ended Kolton Kanaski jumped all over a Terrier turnover before beating Aiken five-hole.

"We just didn't seem to be there tonight and like I said, last night we had some spurts, but we just haven't been consistent the last couple days," adds Spiller. "Guys we needed going just didn't seem to want to go to the tough areas to make plays and (Virden) really did that, and it showed."

Chase Brakel had a chance to pull the Dogs within one early in the third but couldn't get enough lumber on puck right on the doorstep of the Oil Cap goal to redirect the puck past Virden netminder Riley McVeigh. Minutes later, Jeran Knorr batted home a rebound past Aiken to put the game out of reach.

Aiken turned aside 28 shots in the losing effort while McVeigh stopped 28 of 29 to pick up the win. The Terriers finished 1-for-5 on the man advantage while Virden failed to strike on five opportunities, including an extended 5-on-3 to start the second.

The Terriers (4-1-0) will look to get back in the win column Wednesday night on the road in Dauphin. Puck drop set for 7:30 p.m.



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