Red Deer, AB – Three goals in a two minute span including a pair of power play markers from T.J. Foster helped the Oil Kings to a 5-2 win over the Red Deer Rebels on Friday night. The win combined with a Moose Jaw loss in Regina means the Edmonton Oil Kings have clinched first place in the WHL Eastern Conference standings for the first time in modern franchise history.
Edmonton fell behind 1-0 early on but bounced back as Foster tallied first on a 5 on 3 power play and then 30 seconds later on the ensuing 5 on 4. Rookie Curtis Lazar then notched his 17th of the year a minute and a half later to make it a 3-1 lead.
Rhett Rachinski and Travis Ewanyk would come up big as they both tallied short handed empty net goals on a late Rebels power play to make it a 5-2 final. For Ewanyk, an Oilers draft pick, the goal was his first of the season after battling back from injury. Starting goaltender Laurent Brossoit posted 24 saves for his 34th win of the season. The Oil Kings were 2 for 5 on the power play while holding the Rebels to 1 for 6.
Edmonton has now posted 99 points to clinch the number one spot in the Eastern Conference and home ice advantage through the first three rounds of the playoffs. Edmonton is second only to the Tri City Americans for first place in the entire WHL.
The Oil Kings will be back in action Saturday as they play the second half of this home and home with the Rebels. It’s Dodge Fan Appreciation Night and the Oil Kings will have plenty of prizes and giveaways! The first 500 fans at the game will receive a Ryan Smyth World Junior Bobblehead, also the Oil Kings will be giving away a brand new Dodge Grand Caravan to a lucky fan in attendance!
This game has the potential to challenge for the highest attendance ever in the modern era of the franchise. The current record is 13,765 tickets sold on January 31st, 2009 as the Oil Kings took a 1-0 win over Jordan Eberle and the Regina Pats! Tickets are still available and on sale now at oilkings.ca OR by calling 414-GOAL.
The playoffs are coming back to the City of Champions! All playoff tickets are on sale now. That includes the brand new Playoff Pass presented by ATB Financial. A one-time, low price of $99 will secure your seat for every Oil Kings home playoff game in 2012. Fans may purchase the Playoff Pass presented by ATB Financial for a limited time in person at the Rexall Place Box Office, by calling 780-414-GOAL (4625) or online at oilkings.ca. While supplies last. The Oil Kings 2011-12 season is presented by JLT, Insurance & Risk Management.