Edmonton, AB – The 6th Annual Dodge Teddy Bear Toss presented by Global Edmonton and Shaw Media was a great success with a 5-2 loss to the Hitmen the only blemish on a great night at Rexall Place. Edgars Kulda tallied an early opening goal for the Oil Kings just two minutes into the first period. The goal sparked a shower of 10,835 stuffed toys to be donated to 630 CHED Santas Anonymous.
Kulda took advantage of a turnover in the Calgary zone, hesitated and roofed a shot for his fourth of the season to bring the 12,575 at Rexall Place to their feet.
After a short delay Edmonton continued to press in the first 20 minutes of play. Their first power play of the evening resulted in several chances including a pair of shots off the post in the same sequence.
The red hot Curtis Lazar made it a 2-0 game with nine minutes to play in the first. Lazar buried a one time shot off a feed from behind the net from Stephane Legault to notch his fifth goal in his last three games. The power play goal would be the only special team’s marker of the game as the Kings power play was 1 for 4 on the night. Edmonton’s penalty kill was a perfect 5 for 5 on the evening as the Oil Kings continue to hold the WHL’s best penalty kill and power play.
Cody Sylvester would answer back for the Hitmen less than 30 seconds later with a blast on the rush that beat Oil Kings goaltender Laurent Brossoit to make it 2-1. Edmonton would continue to attack but could only manage to hold the one goal lead going into the second.
The Kings fought through a trio of penalties through the first half of the second period and maintained the one goal margin. Late in the frame Edmonton was rewarded with a power play of their own on a hook by Calgary’s Spencer Humphries. The Edmonton attack had a miscue on the point as the Hitmen’s Carson Samoridny converted on a three-on-one short handed rush to tie the game.
After some early chances for the home side Calgary would take over in the second half of the third period. Zane Jones tallied on a wrister from in tight to give the Hitmen their first lead of the game with 8:10 to play. With the momentum shifting Edmonton came up with a huge 5 on 3 penalty kill on the back of Brossoit who kept the game within reach. Brossoit made a huge save on a partial break but the Oil Kings defense couldn’t dig up the rebound as Jones tallied his second of the night, making it 4-2.
The Hitmen would then add an empty net goal off the stick of Pavlo Padakin to make it a 5-2 loss for the Oil Kings on home ice. Brossoit ended his night with 34 saves as his record moved to 11-4-2-3. Edmonton’s overall record dropped to 18-7-2-3 on the year as they relinquish their hold on first in the division.
The Oil Kings will enter tomorrow’s game two points behind the Hitmen for first place in the Eastern Conference. The team departed post game for the second part of this home and home on Saturday night in Calgary. Game time is set for 7:00 p.m. from the Saddledome.
The Kings make their return to the friendly confines on Wednesday, December 12 in another marquee WHL matchup. The Oil Kings will have their third and final regular season meeting with the Western Conference leading Kamloops Blazers. These teams split their first two meetings with the Kings taking a 2-1 win in Kamloops on November 6th. Kamloops is currently ranked 4th in the CHL Top Ten and continues to battle Portland for top spot in the WHL.
Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. on Wednesday. Tickets are available at OILKINGS.CA, at the Rexall Place Box Office or at Ticketmaster outlets. For more information on season seats or flex packs, call 780-414-GOAL (4625). All games this season will be broadcast live on the TEAM 1260 and streamed live at WHL.ca. The Oil Kings 2012-13 season is presented by JLT, Insurance & Risk Management.
Season Seat Holders are reminded that the Never Waste A Ticket program has changed. You may redeem any unused tickets from the start of the season through Friday, December 27th by Monday, December 31st. You’ll be able to redeem second half unused tickets from January until the end of the regular season. It is recommended that fans drop by the Ticket Office at TELUS Field during regular business hours to avoid the game day rush. You can also call an Oil Kings customer experience representative at (780) 414-GOAL (4625) to choose your games and arrange for a speedy pick-up on game day.