The Edmonton Oil Kings (30-7-6-3) became the first Eastern Conference team to 30 wins, as they defeated the visiting Medicine Hat Tigers (29-13-1-1), 4-2, in front of 7,264 fans at Rogers Place on Sunday evening.
Riley Sawchuk was in on all four Oil Kings goals – an assist on Matthew Robertson’s game opener, followed by his first career WHL hat trick – to cap off a memorable night and a First Star performance.
It was an integral win against a Medicine Hat team that entered today’s game trailing the Oil Kings by seven points in the Central Division, with two games in hand.
Edmonton has avoided a regulation loss over the course of their last eight games (6-0-1-1), registering at least a point in 18 of their last 19 contests (15-1-2-1).
Beck Warm (12-14-3-2) picked up his third win as an Oil King (3-0-0-1), making 30 saves on 32 shots.
Mads Sogaard (14-9-1-1) took the loss, surrendering three goals on 34 shots.
Robertson opened the game’s scoring, giving the Oil Kings a 1-0 lead, assisted by Sawchuk and Logan Dowhaniuk at 3:56.
The Tigers responded at 13:45, sending the game into the first intermission tied, 1-1.
Shots on goal through the first 20 minutes of play favoured Medicine Hat, 10-9.
Lukas Svejkovsky scored his second of the game 3:52 into the second period to give Medicine Hat a 2-1 lead.
After entering the Medicine Hat zone, Ethan McIndoe was hauled down by a trailing Tiger and was awarded a penalty shot at 8:53, but was denied by Sogaard.
Medicine Hat maintained their one-goal edge until 30 seconds left in the middle frame, as a nifty pass beneath the goal line from Carter Souch found Sawchuk for his 17th of the year, with Dylan Guenther picking up the second assist at 19:30.
Shots on goal in the second period were 13-10, Oil Kings for a two-period total of 22-20, Edmonton.
In the third with the Oil Kings on the power play, Sawchuk earned his second goal of the game, firing a one-timer past Sogaard at 7:47 from Robertson and Jake Neighbours.
Sawchuk’s third of the night – and 19th of the season – came by way of an empty net goal, assisted by Samuel Stewart, to solidify the 4-2 win at 18:41.
Third period shots on goal were 13-12, Edmonton for a game total of 35-32, Oil Kings.
Medicine Hat was 0-for-4 on the power play, while Edmonton was 1-for-2 with the man advantage.
Matthew Robertson (EDM) (3), Lukas Svejkovsky (MH) (2), and Riley Sawchuk (EDM) (1) were selected as the Three Stars of the Game.
Riley Sawchuk, Matthew Robertson and Ethan Cap each wore an “A” and skated as alternates to captain Scott Atkinson.
The Oil Kings take to the road for their next three games, beginning Wednesday, January 22 when they take on the Swift Current Broncos at 6:00 PM MT. They face the Prince Albert Raiders on Friday, January 24 at 6:00 PM MT, then the Saskatoon Blades on Saturday, January 25, also at 6:00 PM MT.
They return to Rogers Place on Tuesday, January 28 when they host the Brandon Wheat Kings at 7:00 PM MT.
EOK365 Season Seat Memberships, Five-Star Plans, Flex Packs and single game tickets are available for every Edmonton Oil Kings game this season. Ticket packages start at just $99 per seat, and single game tickets are as low as $20. Call 780-414-GOAL (4625), email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit OilKings.ca for more information.