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Capitalized on a full roster

By Aaron Wilgosh, The Graphic

Capitals' captain Reilly Funk scored his third hat-trick since returning to the line-up for Central Plains to help his club to victory in overtime over the Winnipeg Bruins. (file photo)

Capitals' captain Reilly Funk scored his third hat-trick since returning to the line-up for Central Plains to help his club to victory in overtime over the Winnipeg Bruins. (file photo)

What a difference a full roster can make.

The Central Plains Capitals managed to take out the Winnipeg Bruins Tuesday night 6-5 in overtime after leading 5-2 in the third period in a Manitoba AAA Midget Hockey League match in Winnipeg.

“We got in a good rhythm with our lines and our top two lines did end up seeing a lot of ice time, but we rolled three lines pretty much through 40-minutes,” says Caps head coach, Brad Gnidziejko. “Some of the guys are now playing different roles but everyone is doing what they need to do on the ice, and when you have a commitment like that you’ll be successful.”

Reilly Funk was a beast for the Capitals again, scoring 44 seconds into the opening period to get his club out front early. The lead didn’t last too long as the Bruins tied the game up with an even-strength marker of their own four minutes later. The Caps would add a couple more before the end of the period, one from Cameron Trimble and another from Logan Calder, which came while on the penalty kill. Central Plains was outshot 12-6 through 20. 

Things slowed down in the second, as both teams didn’t want to make a mistake that would end up in the back of their net. Breydon Stubbs got the Bruins within one in the second half of the period, and that would stand as the only goal through the middle frame. The Caps ended up controlling more of the play and finished with 10 shots to Winnipeg’s eight.

The Caps extended their lead by two just three minutes into the final 20 minutes. Funk netted his second 90 seconds in and that was followed by a Mitchell Wilson goal to make it 5-2. The Bruins found their form after that and scored a power-play goal to make it 5-3 a minute after Wilson’s. They would add two more in 40 seconds to tie the game at 5 with four minutes remaining. Neither team could manage a game-winner in the final seconds they set up for an overtime period.

The captain had the chance to play hero again in overtime, and he made no mistake, as Funk netted his third goal of the night to have his teammates pouring over the boards. It’s his third hat trick since returning from the Terriers and his second overtime winner. Calder has a goal and two assists in the three games since his return from injury. Sveistrup made 28 saves for the win. 

“It’s nice to have everyone in a uniform again,” adds Gnidziejko. “You can tell now that everyone is pumped. The guys that are missing ice time probably aren’t that happy, but they’re staying positive and helping where they need to. We took out a very strong Winnipeg team so we should enjoy it.”

Central Plains is back in Manitoba AAA Midget action Friday when the boys visit the Wheat Kings in Brandon, Man.


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