March 26, 2013, Cranbrook, BC (ISN) – Michael St.Croix had a pair of goals and Laurent Brossoit posted 24 saves as the Oil Kings took a 7-1 win over the Kootenay Ice on Tuesday. The Game 3 victory gives Edmonton a 2-1 lead in their best of seven Eastern Conference Quarter Final series.
The Oil Kings battled for a lead through the first six minutes and never looked back. St.Croix opened the scoring with his third of the post season 1:50 into the game. The Ice responded with an equalizer off the stick Luke Philp just over a minute and a half later.
Edmonton regained the lead as Curtis Lazar scored his first of the 2013 WHL Playoffs and St. Croix added his second of the night. When the smoke cleared both teams had combined for four goals in under five minutes – a stark contrast to the tight defensive battle of Game Two.
The line of Cole Benson, Brandon Baddock and Luke Bertolucci put in a monster effort and were rewarded with the only goal of the second period. After a very good shift of constant pressure in the Ice zone, Bertolucci beat his man wide and scored with a slick wrap around to make it 4 – 1 after 40 minutes.
“I saw that I had the whole net and tucked it home.” said Bertolucci, who had some extra support in the stands to see his first WHL playoff goal. “My grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles and friends, everyone was here.”
“I thought Benson’s line did a great job.” said Oil Kings Head Coach Derek Laxdal. “They’ve done it all year. They’ve provided a lot of energy for our hockey club and were outstanding tonight.”
Edmonton captain Griffin Reinhart, Trevor Cheek and Cole Benson rounded out the scoring. The Oil Kings cashed in on their only powerplay and now lead the WHL playoffs with a 44.4% success rate. Edmonton’s penalty kill went a perfect 3 for 3 on the night and has yet to allow a power play goal against in the post season.
Game 4 of this Eastern Conference Quarter Final is set for Wednesday night in Cranbrook. Game time is 7:00 p.m. MST. You can catch all the action on Edmonton’s Sports Radio, the TEAM 1260. All games are streamed online at WHL Live found at WHL.ca.
The split in the first two games of the series means there will be another game between these two teams at Rexall Place. Game 5 is scheduled for Friday, March 29th. Tickets are on sale now and available at OILKINGS.CA, at the Rexall Place Box Office or at Ticketmaster outlets. The $99 ATB Financial Playoff Pass is also available exclusively online at OILKINGS.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.
The Oil Kings opening round schedule is as follows: (All Times MDT)
Edmonton (1) vs Kootenay (8)
Edmonton leads series 2-1
Game #1 – Friday, March 22 @ Edmonton – 9-0 Edmonton Win
Game #2 – Sunday, March 24 @ Edmonton – 2-1 Edmonton OT Loss
Game #3 – Tuesday, March 26 @ Kootenay – 7-1 Edmonton Win
Game #4 – Wednesday, March 27 @ Kootenay – 7:00 p.m.
Game #5 – Friday, March 29 @ Edmonton – 7:00 p.m.
*Game #6 – Sunday, March 31 @ Kootenay – 6:00 p.m.
*Game #7 – Tuesday, April 2 @ Edmonton – 7:00 p.m.