December 27, 2012, Edmonton, AB – The Edmonton Oil Kings suffered a 5-3 loss at the hands of the Red Deer Rebels on Thursday at Rexall Place. T.J. Foster and Michael St.Croix led the way for the home side with a goal and and assist each.
Both teams combined for nearly 100 shots in a wide open slugfest as Edmonton’s record dropped to 23-8-2-3 on the season. With Calgary inactive on the night the Oil Kings remained a single point up on the Hitmen for top spot in the WHL Eastern Conference standings.
The Oil Kings dug themselves into a hole early as they allowed three goals in the first five minutes of the game. Wyatt Johnson, Turner Elson and Matthew Dumba scored in the Rebs early period onslaught. Oil Kings goaltender Laurent Brossoit came in briefly to relieve starter Tristan Jarry who would return soon after; Brossoit faced only one shot.
After a timeout the Oil Kings showed some resilience in the second half of the first period. A Rebels turnover resulted in a point shot from Foster that was tipped in front by St.Croix. The goal was St.Croix’s team leading 20th of the season as he finished the night tied for eighth in WHL scoring with 46 points.
Late in the period the Oil Kings cut the lead to 3-2 as Henrik Samuelsson made a nice drive down the wall and delivered a great feed to a streaking Travis Ewanyk. Ewanyk punched in his fifth of the season in his first game back since suffering an injury in mid-november.
But Red Deer would strike first in the second period to make it a 4-2 game off the stick of Brooks Maxwell. The Oil Kings would continue to pour on the pressure but were unable to solve Rebels goalie Bolton Pouliot until late in the frame. After being stopped on the door step just seconds earlier Foster was able to tally on a rebound low in the face off circle to once again pull the Oil Kings to within one.
Jarry would rebound and finish his night with 34 saves as the Oil Kings out shot the Rebs 56-40 on the night. But it was Dumba who added his second of the game, a power play goal with five minutes remaining to make it a 5-3 final.
The Oil Kings will play the second half of this home and home series with Red Deer tomorrow night. All games this season will be broadcast live on the TEAM 1260 and streamed live at WHL.ca. Puck drop is set for 7:30 p.m. in Red Deer.
Edmonton will play their final game of 2012 at Rexall Place with a special 6PM New Year’s Eve match up against the Brandon Wheat Kings. Puck drop is set for a special 6:00 p.m. start – Be sure to stick around immediately following the game for New Year’s Eve fireworks! Tickets are available at OILKINGS.CA, at the Rexall Place Box Office or at Ticketmaster outlets. 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.