Tuesday, October 19
Edmonton Oil Kings (5-5) vs. Kootenay Ice (5-3-0-1)
7 p.m. – Cranbrook Rec Plex
SNAP THE STREAK: After a pair of tough losses to the Red Deer Rebels to open the 2010-11 Western Hockey League season, the Edmonton Oil Kings won a modern franchise record five straight games. They earned their first victory of the season on Sept. 29 with a 3-1 decision in Prince Albert over the Raiders, and completed their perfect road trip with a 7-3 thrashing of the Pats in Regina on Oct. 1. They returned home on Oct. 3 to host the Moose Jaw Warriors and emerged victorious again 3-2, and won their fourth straight game on Oct. 9 with a 4-3 decision over the Swift Current Broncos. The Oil Kings set a new modern franchise record with their fifth win in a row on Oct. 11 when they beat the Prince George Cougars in thrilling fashion, 8-7 in overtime. Their streak finally came to an end on Friday, though, when they hosted the Medicine Hat Tigers, who were all over them in a 7-1 decision. The teams played again on Saturday night in Medicine Hat, and although it was a much tighter game, the Tigers prevailed again 6-4. The Oil Kings dropped their third game in three nights on Sunday when they were blanked 4-0 by the Broncos in Swift Current.
NHL NOISE: Between the Oil Kings and Ice, there are eight players who have an NHL affiliation. The Oil Kings have four players who attended NHL training camps in September – D Mark Pysyk (1st round, 23rd overall, Buffalo 2010), RW Cameron Abney (3rd round, 82nd overall, Edmonton 2010), RW Kristians Pelss (7th round, 181st overall, Edmonton 2009) and G Cam Lanigan (free agent tryout, Calgary 2010). Pysyk stuck with the Sabres for two weeks of training camp, though he wasn’t able to crack the lineup for any exhibition action. Abney, Pelss and Lanigan all competed at the Young Stars Tournament in Penticton, B.C., in mid-September for their respective NHL rookie squads. The Ice have four NHL draft picks on their roster – D Brayden McNabb (Buffalo 2009), Drew Czerwonka (Edmonton 2010), Max Reinhart (Calgary 2010) and Joey Leach (Calgary 2010).
ROSTER BREAKDOWN: The Oil Kings currently have 25 players on their roster to start the 2010-11 WHL campaign, including two goalies, eight defencemen and 15 forwards. Of the 25 players, two were born in 1994, nine were born in 1993, seven were born in 1992, four were born in 1991 and three were born in 1990. The team’s three 20-year-old players are defenceman Adrian Van de Mosselaer, and forwards Jordan Hickmott and Mike Piluso.
UPCOMING GAMES: The Oil Kings’ three-game road trip concludes tonight against the Ice in Cranbroook. The Oil Kings are set to return home to host the Kamloops Blazers on Friday, Oct. 22 at 7 p.m., and it’s Free Toque Night at Rexall Place, as the first 1,500 fans will receive a complimentary Oil Kings toque. Their four-game homestand continues on Sunday, Oct. 24, as the Ice visit Edmonton for a 2 p.m. afternoon game at Rexall Place, where it will be another edition of Edmonton Sun Autograph Sundays. Tickets are available starting at just $15 by calling 780-414-GOAL or at oilkings.ca.