The Insider is a weekly look at what’s going on with the Oil Kings by TSN 1260’s Corey Graham. This week, Corey reviews the top 10 moments at Rexall Place…
The Edmonton Oil Kings have two games left on their schedule to determine their playoff fate. Both the Oil Kings and Medicine Hat Tigers have tall orders in front of them this weekend; Edmonton facing Red Deer twice, while the Tigers matchup with Lehtbridge in a home and home. The Oil Kings are in the driver’s seat having a two point lead heading into the weekend. If the clubs finish the season tied, a one game tie-breaker game would take place. The team with the most wins will host the game and if the clubs are tied in that category the game will be in Medicine Hat due to fact that they won the season series.
In the background of the chase for the final spot is the fact that the Oil Kings will play their final regular season game at Rexall Place on Thursday night. After talking to some of the players and staff from the team I’ve put together a top ten of Rexall Place moments for this week.
10- Monday October 11,2010
The Oil Kings hosted the Prince George Cougars on Thanksgiving Monday in 2010 and things did not start well at all. The club trailed 2-0 early in the game and the deficit built to 6-3 after 40 minutes. Third period goals from Mike Piluso, Dylan Wruck, and a pair from Travis Ewanyk put Edmonton ahead before Sena Acolatse tied it midway through the third with a bomb from the point. The game would go to the last tick of overtime when Dylan Wruck beat James Preistner with a shot just inside the post to seal the comeback win.
9- Sunday January 27, 2013
In the middle of an 11 game win streak the Oil Kings dominated the Lethbridge Hurricanes in a Sunday afternoon tilt. Leading 7-1 late in the 3rd period of a chippy game a line brawl broke out with scraps in several areas of the ice. Just as things seemed to have cooled off Oil King netminder Laurent Brossoit skated to centre ice to meet Hurricane tendy Ty Rimmer. Both goalies landed decent shots in a back and forth fight which lasted nearly 40 seconds.
8- Saturday October 30, 2010
Following Wruck’s Thanksgiving day heroics the Oil Kings went into a tailspin, ultimately losing nine straight games. This was game eight of the stretch a 4-2 defeat at the hands of the Vancouver Giants. The most memorable thing about the game was Michael St. Croix’s sixth goal of the season which came in the third frame. It was voted the goal of the year in the WHL for 2010-11. The right handed St. Croix took a pass from Keegan Lowe and stepped around two Giant defenders protecting the puck with his left arm. With just his lower right hand on his stick he lifted the puck over the shoulder of Brendan Jensen.
7- Saturday December 5, 2015
The club’s final Teddy Bear toss at Rexall Place was a record breaker. Tyler Robertson’s first period goal brought 12,556 stuffed bears to the ice from the 15,022 fans in the building. The club went on to win the game 2-1 when Brandon Baddock scored with just over a minute to goal in the 3rd period.
6- Monday March 23, 2009
The WHL playoffs returned to Rexall Place as the Oil Kings faced the Calgary Hitmen in Game 3 of their quarter-final series. The Oil Kings needed to win a tie break game in Prince Albert to qualify for the post season and were heavy underdogs against the Hitmen who won a league high 59 games. Calgary would record back to back 4-1 wins at Rexall to sweep the first round matchup.
5- Friday March 22, 2013
The Oil Kings began their quest to defend their 2012 WHL Championship with a first round date with the Kootenay ICE. That night forward Stephane Legault was in the zone as seemingly everything he touched went in the net. A first period hat trick paced Legault to an Oil King playoff record seven points in a 9-0 victory.
4- Thursday May 10, 2012
After a thrilling overtime win in Portland in Game 5 of the WHL Championship the series shifted back to Rexall tied at 2 games each. A Sven Bartschi goal early in the third tied the score and overtime was looming when Oil King captain Mark Pysyk knocked down a clearing effort with just under a minute left in regulation. He would sweep into the Portland zone and put a wrister over the shoulder of Mac Carruth. Pysyk’s final goal Rexall Place capped a wild game and put Edmonton up 3-2 in the series.
3- Saturday September 20, 2014
A special night at Rexall Place as Oil Kings past and present were on hand to see the Memorial Cup and WHL Championship banners rise to the rafters. Alumni Reid Petryk and Mitch Moroz paraded the trophies on the ice as the 2013-14 team was honoured.
2- Thursday September 20, 2007
Seven years before the team raised a new Memorial Cup banner the Oil Kings were welcomed back to the WHL, and raised banners from their previous Memorial Cup wins. Alumni from the 1960’s and 70’s were honoured and the expansion team didn’t disappoint on the ice either. The Oil Kings would strike twice in the third period including local product J-P Szaszkiewicz getting the game winner in the final second as the Oil Kings downed the ICE 4-3.
1- Sunday May 13, 2012
Less than 24 hours after Portland earned a victory in Game 6 of the WHL Championship the two clubs squared off at Rexall to decide who would represent the WHL at the Memorial Cup. The Oil Kings opened the scoring early as Rhett Rachinski would bury a rebound under two minutes in. They would never look back, building up a 4-0 lead midway through the game. As the third period approached all that was left was to close it out and let the celebration begin. A fantastic night in front of a big crowd will not be forgotten.
Corey Graham has been the play-by-play broadcaster for the Oil Kings since 2010-11 and has broadcast three WHL championship series and two Memorial Cups. His blog, The Insider, will appear every Thursday at noon on oilkings.ca. You can catch every Oil Kings game home and away with Corey on TSN 1260.