Five different goal scorers propelled the Edmonton Oil Kings (21-6-5-2) to a 5-1 win over the Swift Current Broncos (6-21-1-2) in front of a crowd of 5,528 on Friday night.
It was game 34 of the season, meaning the official halfway point of the season has been reached, but the team has one more game to go – tomorrow night in Medicine Hat – before they head back home to their families for the holiday break.
Tis the season to spread joy – and the offense – with the five separate goal scorers, but another reason to rejoice was special teams play; a power play that went 2-for-2, and a penalty kill that successfully stymied the Broncos during all three of their chances with the man advantage.
Ethan McIndoe, Carter Souch, Dylan Guenther, Matthew Robertson and Keagan Slaney were the goal scorers for the Oil Kings, who have now earned at least a point in their last seven games, and nine of their last ten (7-1-2-0).
Sebastian Cossa (11-2-1-1) earned the win in goal, turning aside 25 of 26 shots he faced.
For the second straight game Isaac Poulter (6-14-1-1) was the busier of the two goaltenders but took the loss, allowing five goals on 43 Oil Kings shots.
In the first period the teams remained scoreless despite Jalen Luypen coming close to making it a 1-0 game near the midway point of the period, hitting the crossbar on a breakaway chance with puck bouncing away from the Broncos crease.
Neighbours also had a prime, wrap-around opportunity in the opening 20 minutes, but would have to wait before etching his name on the scoresheet.
Shots on goal through the opening frame favoured Edmonton, 16-12.
In the second, McIndoe worked his magic once again with a deflection that found the back of the net, as David Kope and Robertson earned the assists at the 3:40 mark.
The Oil Kings jumped out to a 2-0 lead and the fans cheered for more than just the goal, as Souch’s tenth of the season sent all fans in attendance home with a voucher for free chicken and a biscuit after scoring during the Popeye’s Chicken Minute. The goal came at 12:12 while on the power play, and was assisted by Riley Sawchuk and Josh Williams.
In the final minute of play in the second period, Liam Keeler and Neighbours emerged into the offensive zone along the near-side before finding a trailing Guenther down the middle, who made it 3-0 with his ninth of the season at 19:51.
After 40 minutes, shots on goal remained in Edmonton’s favour, 33-15, after a 17-3 edge by the Oil Kings in the middle frame.
At 2:09 of the third, a shot from the point fooled Cossa to get the Broncos on the board and ruin the shutout bid, cutting the Oil Kings lead to 3-1.
But it was as close as the visitors would come after Robertson on the power play for his seventh of the season – from Sawchuk and Souch – at 14:07 made it 4-1, Edmonton.
Slaney would round out the game’s scoring with this second of the campaign with a blast from the left point, assisted by Tyler Horstmann, with 12 seconds left and secure the 5-1 win.
In the third, shots swayed in Swift Current’s direction, 11-10, for a game total of 43-26, Edmonton.
Swift Current was 0-for-3 on the power play, while Edmonton was 2-for-2 with the man advantage.
Dylan Guenther (EDM) (3), Carter Souch (EDM) (2), and Jake Neighbours (EDM) (1) were selected as the Three Stars of the Game.
Matthew Robertson and Ethan Cap each wore an “A” and skated as alternates to captain Scott Atkinson.
The Oil Kings play their final game before the holiday break when they travel to Medicine Hat to take on the Tigers tomorrow night, Saturday, December 14, at 7:30 PM.
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