Oil Kings Knock Off Hitmen For First Place

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December 18, 2012, Calgary, AB – With a 2 for 4 performance on the power play and a pair of shorthanded markers from Henrik Samuelsson the Oil Kings took a 4-1 win over the Calgary Hitmen on Tuesday night in Calgary.

The victory brings the Oil Kings record to 23-7-2-3 as they enter the WHL Christmas break in sole possession of first place in the WHL Eastern Conference standings with 51 points.

Despite an early push that saw leading scorer Michael St.Croix put a shot off the goal post the Oil Kings could not open the scoring against Calgary goaltender Chris Driedger. Laurent Brossoit stood tall in the cage for the Kings but would give up a late first period goal to Calgary’s Greg Chase.

The Hitmen would carry the 1-0 lead into the second period which they began on the power play. The man advantage came off the first call of the game, a tripping call on Henrik Samuelsson to end the first period.

Edmonton’s number one ranked penalty kill went to work killing the Samuelsson penalty for the first 1:15 of the second frame. But the Oil Kings took another poorly timed penalty less than a minute later. This time the penalty kill went on the attack as Curtis Lazar made a great feed to a streaking Samuelsson who wired a one timer for his first shorthanded goal of the night.

After killing the remainder of the penalty the Oil Kings were awarded their first power play of the game. The WHL’s best power play went to work early as Mitch Moroz tallied 30 seconds into the man advantage. Cody Corbett played the bank shot off the back wall that Moroz dug up in the slot and shoveled home for his fifth goal of the season.

The Oil Kings continued to take questionable penalties as Stephane Legault took a slashing minor with under four minutes to play in the period. But Samuelsson once again turned the tables on the Calgary momentum as he created a turnover at the point and notched his second shorthanded goal of the night. The Phoenix Coyotes first round draft pick buried on a nice backhand forehand upstairs on the break away to give the Oil Kings the 3-1 lead.

The Kings added their fourth special teams goal of the night as Curtis Lazar tipped home a shot from Ashton Sautner on a late third period power play. Edmonton would play an excellent road period as they protected the lead and held the Hitmen to just one shot over the final 20 minutes to make it a 4-1 final. Brossoit’s evening ended with 15 saves on 16 shots as he improved his record to 14-4-2-3 with a 2.58 GAA and a 0.904 save percentage.

Special teams have been the name of the game as of late for the Oil Kings as they currently have the best power play and penalty kill in the WHL. The power play went 2 for 4 on the night and is now an amazing 29.6% on the year, this is almost four percentage points higher than the second best Swift Current Broncos. The power play is only overshadowed by the Oil Kings lethal league leading 92.2% penalty kill. The P.K. was perfect for the sixth straight game going 4 for 4 on the night.

The Kings make their return to Rexall Place following the WHL Christmas break on Thursday, December 27th. It will be the first game of a home and home series with the Red Deer Rebels. Puck drop is set for 7:00 p.m. Tickets are available at OILKINGS.CA, at the Rexall Place Box Office or at Ticketmaster outlets. All games this season will be broadcast live on the TEAM 1260 and streamed live at WHL.ca. For more information on season seats or flex packs, call 780-414-GOAL (4625). The Oil Kings 2012-13 season is presented by JLT, Insurance & Risk Management.

Season Seat Holders are reminded that the Never Waste A Ticket program has changed. There are only two games remaining in the first segment of the season! You may redeem any unused tickets from the start of the season through Friday, December 27th by Monday, December 31st. You’ll be able to redeem second half unused tickets from January until the end of the regular season. It is recommended that fans drop by the Ticket Office at TELUS Field during regular business hours to avoid the game day rush. You can also call an Oil Kings Customer Experience Representative at 780-414-GOAL (4625) to choose your games and arrange for a speedy pick-up on game day.

The Oil Kings are offering a $150 Oil Kings Holiday Pack presented by JOE FM! Each package includes 8 flex tickets, a replica WHL Championship Ring and an Oil Kings toque! These are available until December 31, 2012 and can be purchased at oilkings.ca

Christian J. Stewart
Christian is a professional photographer and media professional based in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Currently working as the Assistant General Manager for Victoria HarbourCats Baseball Club, a Senior Contributing Editor and photographer at Independent Sports News (ISN) and operating his own freelance photography and media/pr company.