A disappointing night for the Neepawa Natives on Wednesday, Dec. 2, as the visiting Virden Oil Capitals were able to leave the Yellowhead Centre with a 6-3 win.
The first period began with optimism, as Neepawa was the first team to light the lamp, with Aiken Chop scoring his fifth goal of the year, at the 3:13 mark. Jared Pelechaty and John McCammon assisted on the effort. A little less than five minutes later, Virden would answer back, as Tyler Kirkup garnered the Oil Caps first of the evening. Tanner Lewis added a second goal for the visitors at 15:16, to make it 2-1. Neepawa replied before the end of the opening frame, when Kyle McDonald notched his eighth goal and 15th point of the season, with less than 90 seconds remaining in the first. Jordan Marten and Nathan Hillis were credited with assists. After the initial 20 minutes, Virden had a 23-9 advantage in shots.
The second period was similar in appearance to the first, as the Oil Caps peppered the Neepawa net with shots. That consistent pressure eventually paid off, when Davis Ross scored at 9:18 for Virden. A few minutes later, Ross would assist on a fourth goal for the Capitals. This time, it was a power-play marker from Nolan Ross. Dean Schram picked up the other assist, as Virden entered the third period with a 4-2 advantage. The shots on goal were 42-15 for the visitors after 40 minutes of play.
The third period played out in a similar manner as the first two, with Virden keeping the Natives’ defence and goaltender Jeremy Link very busy. Despite their best efforts, Neepawa surrendered two more goals to make it 6-2 late in the game. Newcomer Jace Pesch notched his first goal as a Neepawa Native with less than 30 seconds remaining in the game, to make the final score 6-3. Virden added another 18 shots on goal in the final 20 minutes, while Neepawa answered back with 10, to make the final shot totals 60-25 for the road team.
This defeat drops Neepawa’s record to 6-22 on the season. The next home game for the Natives is on Sunday, Dec. 6 against the OCN Blizzard.