Tristen Cross scored the game winning goal forty-four seconds into overtime as the Virden Oil Capitals eked a 2-1 win over the Steinbach Pistons to wrap up the 2018 MJHL Player Showcase in Winnipeg.
Virden has now won seven games in a row, with their last loss coming to Steinbach back on November 23rd. The Pistons’ five-game win streak was snapped with the loss, but they leave the MJHL Showcase with 3 of a possible 4 points. Virden goalie Riley Wallace stopped 28 of 29 shots in the win, while Matt Lenz made 22 saves in the loss.
There was no scoring in the first two periods of play as both teams locked down their own zone with hard-nosed physical play.
Steinbach would come close to breaking the ice early in the third period, as Kyle Bettens’ backhander beat Wallace but not the post and it remained scoreless.
The Oil Caps would get on the board first with just over eight minutes to play in the third, as Cross whipped a slapshot past Lenz for his 5thof the season from Josh Belcher and Logan Rands.
The Pistons pushed on the gas to try and equalize, and they did thanks to leading goal scorer and Virden nemesis Brendan Martin. Martin intercepted a Virden defender, broke in all alone, and outwaited Wallace to slide it past his right pad and the game was tied with 1:53 to go.
The two team played for the extra point in overtime, and Cross spun around and beat Lenz bardown to win it for the Oil Caps.
Martin’s late goal was actually on the power play, as a Piston had just stepped out of the box after some 4-on-4 play. So that means that both teams went 1 for 6 with the man advantage.
UP NEXT: The Pistons head to Swan River for a crucial weekend set with the second place Swan Valley Stampeders. Saturday’s game will be at 7:30 pm, while Sunday’s start time is set for 4:00 pm. The Pistons are five points back of the Stamps with a game in hand, so you can watch this huge matchup all weekend courtesy of HockeyTV.