The Edmonton Oil Kings (14-11-3-2) battled back from two one-goal deficits, but the Calgary Hitmen (11-14-2-1) secured just their fourth win on home ice this season with a 4-3 overtime victory in front of 5,724 fans at Scotiabank Saddledome on Saturday night.
Brett Kemp, Quinn Benjafield and Trey Fix-Wolansky each scored in the losing effort, but the game did provide a silver lining as Fix-Wolansky earned his 200th career WHL regular season point. His 19th goal of the season on Saturday upped his career totals to 75 goals and 125 assists. He reached the 200-point mark in just his 171st career WHL regular season game.
Todd Scott (0-0-1-0) made his season debut in goal for the Oil Kings after returning from injury, making 27 saves in the overtime loss.
Jack McNaughton (5-7-0-1) earned the win against their divisional foe, stopping 26 of 29 Edmonton shots.
The Oil Kings took a 1-0 lead just 5:49 into the first period as Brett Kemp’s shot on goal fooled the Hitmen goaltender, McNaughton. Kemp’s 19th goal of the season temporarily gave him the team lead, which came unassisted.
But under three minutes later it was a 1-1 game as Brett Bader notched his first career WHL goal, assisted by Cael Zimmerman at 8:12.
Calgary took their first lead of the night, 2-1, on a goal by Jake Kryski on the power play, from James Malm and Mark Kastelic just 1:43 later at 9:55.
However, first period scoring wasn’t done just yet as the Oil Kings evened things up, 2-2, on a beauty backhander by Quinn Benjafield, his 11th of the season, assisted by Vince Loschiavo, to wrap up scoring in the high-octane first period.
Shots on goal in the opening frame were 11-10, Edmonton.
The second period was more of a defensive juggernaut but not before Kryski’s second of the night gave the Hitmen a 3-2 lead just 15 seconds in, from Kaden Elder and Egor Zamula, which proved to be the only goal of the middle 20 minutes.
The Oil Kings team scoring lead once again became a two-man affair as Trey Fix-Wolansky tallied his 19th of the season, from Wyatt McLeod and Conner McDonald, at the 5:51 mark of the third period to tie the game, 3-3.
A tie game is how regulation would end as the two teams headed to a five-minute, 3-on-3 overtime period, but it was the Hitmen who would capitalize and earn the extra point.
Elder’s second point of the night and ninth goal of the season was a tip-in in front of Scott to the elation of the home crowd.
Shots on goal through regulation were 28-27 Oil Kings, and 31-29 Hitmen at the final buzzer.
Calgary was 1-for-3 on the power play while Edmonton finished the night going 0-for-3 with the man advantage.
Trey Fix-Wolansky (EDM) (3), Jack McNaughton (CGY) (2), and Jake Kryski (CGY) (1) were selected as the Three Stars of the Game.
Wyatt McLeod, Conner McDonald and Matthew Robertson each wore an “A” and skated as alternates to captain Trey Fix-Wolansky.
The Oil Kings are back in action when they return to Rogers Place on Wednesday, December 5 to take on the Regina Pats at 7:00 PM MT.
Their next game is Saturday, December 8 when they host their 12th annual Teddy Bear Toss presented by The Brick at 7:00 PM MT.
Great seats are still available for all Edmonton Oil Kings home games during the 2018-19 season starting at just $20, with a limited number remaining for Teddy Bear Toss on Saturday. Visit OilKings.ca for more information or to purchase.