Red Deer, AB – It was a goaltender’s duel in Red Deer as the Oil Kings skated to a 4-1 loss to the Rebels on Thursday night. Edmonton goaltender Laurent Brossoit posted 25 saves in the loss while the equally impressive Patrik Bartosak shut the door on the Oil Kings offense with 36 saves. Despite the loss the Oil Kings remain a single point ahead of the Hitmen for top spot in the WHL Eastern Conference. Edmonton’s record drops to 30-10-2-3 as the loss ends their three game winning streak.
Brossoit made several big saves in the first period to keep the game within reach as the Rebels came out shooting. Brossoit made a huge save on Red Deer’s Rhys Dieno moments before the winger opened the scoring on a power play midway through the period.
A fight got things going in the second frame as rookie Brandon Baddock took on 6-foot-3, 230 pound 20-year old Brandon Underwood. The fight sparked a response from the Oil Kings who pressed but struggled to solve Bartosak. Brossoit’s play continued to keep the Oil Kings in the game as the visitors would respond with just under six minutes to play in the second. Acting Captain Keegan Lowe rushed the net and shoveled home a loose rebound to tie the game 1-1. Lowe continues to have a career season with 10 goals, a plus 18 rating and over 100 penalty minutes.
But the Rebels would answer back in the third as Dieno was sent in on a breakaway and beat Brossoit on the deke. The Oil Kings continued to be turned away by Bartosak as the Rebels would add to their lead with a goal from Turner Elson. Dieno then added his third of the night on an empty net goal in the final minute of the game to make it a 4-1 final.
Brossoit remains one of the hottest net minders in the WHL after winning eight of his last ten starts. Last weekend he notched the seventh shutout of his WHL career adding to his modern era franchise record. The Oil Kings continue to play excellent hockey in their own end of the ice. Edmonton has allowed the least number of goals in the Eastern Conference and has held the opposition to two or fewer goals in 28 of their 45 games this season.
After three games on the road the defending WHL Champions make their return to Rexall Place tomorrow as they play host to the Medicine Hat Tigers. The Oil Kings will give away 500 Mitch Moroz T-Shirts! All fans at the game will be eligible to receive a shirt, since scratch-and-win tickets will be used to determine the winners. This game will also mark the return of Oil Kings Captain Griffin Reinhart. Reinhart was reassigned back to Edmonton today from New York Islanders Training Camp.
Puck drop is set for 7:00 p.m. MST and 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.
Don’t forget the 8 Ticket Flex Pack presented by Joe FM is a great way to take in Oil Kings hockey as we begin the stretch drive towards the WHL Playoffs! Each package includes 8 regular season tickets you can use any time in the best side seats AND a replica WHL Championship Ring.