Edmonton, AB – As good as advertised. After nearly 100 shots, four lead changes and just under 65 minutes of skilled back and forth action the Edmonton Oil Kings fell 5-4 in overtime to the Tri City Americans on Wednesday night at Rexall Place. The Oil Kings entered the night as the number 6 ranked team in the CHL, tied in the WHL overall standings with Tri Cities who were ranked 3rd in the CHL Top Ten rankings.
The Oil Kings pushed the offense in the first period outshooting the Americans 19-8 in a fast paced back and forth game. 19-year old T.J. Foster got things started as he scooped up a rebound on a shot from Keegan Lowe and tucked home his 19th of the season to give the Oil Kings a 1-0 lead in the first.
Edmonton came out flat in the second however as NHL draft pick Patrick Holland wound his way around the net and was able to sneak one past Oil Kings goaltender Laurent Brossoit. A power play followed as the Americans took their first lead of the game off a backdoor power play goal from Justin Feser to make it a 2-1 game just 2 minutes into the second.
The Oil Kings killed a mid period power play before Tyler Maxwell put a puck on net that was initally tipped by Stephane Legault and put away by a streaking Griffin Reinhart to tie the game 2-2. Minutes later some good hustle from Dylan Wruck on forecheck resulted in a point shot for Reinhart that found it’s way through the wickets of Tri City goaltender Ty Rimmer to make it a 3-2 game. Reinhart’s tenth and eleventh goals of the year made him the tenth Edmonton player to post 10 or more goals this season.
Early pressure from the Americans in the third would lead to 3-3 goal just 2:36 into the period from Brendan Shinnimin. The Ams would then take the lead 4-3 five minutes in as Malte Stromwall would convert on a nice passing play. But the Oil Kings would respond once again as Wruck would make a pretty cross crease feed from in tight to Martin Gernat who tapped in his 8th of the season to make it 4-4. Overtime would see plenty of back and forth before the Americans were finally able to end it with a shot from Shinnimin for his second of the night – the OT winner.
Laurent Brossoit was brilliant at times posting 39 saves in the loss while Edmonton’s power play went 0 for 2 on the night despite Edmonton outshooting the Ams 46-44. The loss drops the Oil Kings overall record to 32-11-2-4 for 70 points as they remain atop the Eastern conference standings. Edmonton is a single point behind both Tri City and Kamloops for top spot in the WHL overall standings.
The Oil Kings next home game is this Friday as they keep the spirit of the World Juniors alive – welcoming back World Junior standout Mark Stone and the Brandon Wheat Kings. Stone will go head to head with Oil Kings leading scorer Michael St.Croix who just this week was named the CHL player of week. The first 500 fans in attendence will receive a Michael St.Croix #18 Jersey T-Shirt! Puck Drop is set for 7PM MST at Rexall Place.
Oil Kings Hockey is Edmonton’s best family entertainment value. The 2011-12 season features new reduced pricing with great seats starting at just $15 and premium seating starting at just $20. Oil Kings tickets are available online at OilKings.ca, via phone at 780-414-GOAL (4625) or at any Ticketmaster outlet.
In what could be one of the biggest weekend of the season, this might be the perfect time to purchase YOUR eight ticket flex pack! Eight ticket vouchers and you get YOUR choice of any one of the five World Junior Bobbleheads – Smyth, Gagner, Eberle, Hall or Dubnyk.
On Saturday, the Oil Kings will welcome Team Canada standout Brendan Gallagher and the Vancouver Giants on TAYLOR HALL BOBBLEHEAD NIGHT! Game Time is 7:00PM – Doors open at 6:00 PM! Fans are encouraged to arrive early to claim one of the only 500 available at the door!