Just like in Friday night’s game between the Edmonton Oil Kings and Lethbridge Hurricanes, the teams did all their scoring in bunches.
However, despite three assists from rookie Brett Kemp and a pair of goals and a helper from Ty Gerla, it was the Canes who had more in their bunches en route to a 7-4 win Wednesday night at Rogers Place.
Lethbridge had two goals before fans even found their seats and four in the first period alone to take a commanding 4-0 lead through 20 minutes.
Zak Zborosky (29) and Jordy Bellerive (18) scored in the first 2:29 of the game chasing Oil Kings starting goaltender, Patrick Dea in favour of Josh Dechaine. To be fair though, Dea was left out to dry by his teammates.
Dechaine stepped in and was also left on his own as Egor Babenko and Tyler Wong came in on a 2-on-0 with Babenko collecting his 14th.
Wong picked up his 29th of the year later in the period sending the home team to their room stunned and very unhappy.
“We could not have had a worse start in terms of compounding one mistake by another,” said Oil Kings Head Coach Steve Hamilton.
“That’s a really good group of forwards Lethbridge has. Suddenly it’s 4-0 and that’s an awful thing to bounce back from. With that being said, I thought our group played hard tonight.”
It was then time for the Oil Kings to ride the scoring train…and boy did they ever lead by Kemp.
Two goals by Gerla (3,4) eight seconds apart and another from Will Warm (6) just 24 seconds later brought them to within one just like that.
Gerla went in on a 2-on-1 with Kemp with Gerla accepting a nice pass from his linemate and burying it past Stuart Skinner.
“Our line kind of had a good period,” said Kemp. “We were all clicking and we built some chemistry early on, which showed during the game.”
Then on the ensuing faceoff it was déjà vu. Kemp raced in off a pass from Conner McDonald and fed Gerla who fired it past Skinner for his second in just eight seconds.
Not half a minute later the charge continued for Edmonton with what might be the nicest four-way passing play of the year. Kobe Mohr to Davis Koch to Trey Fix-Wolansky and finished off by Warm as the Canes wondered what just happened.
“Our young guys were really good,” said Hamilton. “They kept coming at it. The body language from the guys was good. They were cheering each other on and encouraging one another. I thought our future was on display tonight.”
Lethbridge looked like they had all the wind taken out of their sails and could have folded but Skinner made several outstanding saves and newcomer Alec Baer scored twice to close out the period with a 6-3 lead for the visitors.
It was 7-3 half a minute into the final frame when Bellerive (19) put one past Dechaine. Edmonton just would not give up as McDonald got his first goal as an Oil King (and second of the season) five minutes later. The smooth skating defenceman fired a wrist shot that squeaked through Skinner and over the line to bring the score to 7-4. Kemp and Gerla were credited with the assists; the third of the game for Kemp.
Dechaine finished the game stopping 26 of 31 shots. His counterpart, Skinner, had 39 saves in the win.
These two teams won’t wait too long to meet again as they tangle down in Lethbridge Saturday night at 7:00PM. Tune into TSN 1260 for all the action.