March 30, 2013, Edmonton, AB (ISN) – The Edmonton Oil Kings advance to the second round the WHL Playoffs presented by Husky and Kal Tire thanks to a 4 – 1 victory Friday night over the Kootenay Ice. Edmonton took the best-of-seven Eastern Conference Quarterfinal by the same 4 – 1 count.
The Oil Kings have booked a ticket to the second round of the playoffs against the seventh seed Medicine Hat Tigers. Stephane Legault’s insurance goal with 3:08 left in the third period was the backbreaker in a nail-biter of a game from start to finish.
Luke Bertolucci scored the all-important opening goal of the game with a highlight reel shot roofing it past Kootenay goaltender Mackenzie Skapski. The line of Bertolucci, Cole Benson and Brandon Baddock continued its strong play posting seven points in the series.
The Ice battled back early in the second as Jakub Prochazka tipped in a feed from Jaedon Descheneau to tie the game 1-1. Edmonton fought back midway through the period as Curtis Lazar sniped a backhand over the shoulder of Skapski to regain the lead. Lazar now has four goals in the 2013 post season including a pair of game winners.
Edmonton appeared to struggle in the third as the Ice tried desperately to extend their post season. The Oil Kings’ number one ranked power play was 0 for 3 on the night including a huge opportunity 5 minutes into the third. Mitch Moroz was on the receiving end of a Jagger Dirk major for boarding that resulted in the penalty and a game misconduct for Dirk. Moroz was shaken on the play but would return to the game later in the period.
Legault’s late third period heroics followed a game saving stop by Laurent Brossoit on a streaking Luke Philp. The Edmonton netminder finished with 24 saves on the night. Less than two minutes later, Legault scooped up a rebound in the slot and buried his series leading tenth point and fourth goal. Lazar would add an empty net goal to round out the scoring and punch the Oil Kings ticket to the second round.
Edmonton is now set for a second round matchup against the Tigers. Medicine Hat is fresh off a 4-game sweep of the Memorial Cup host Saskatoon Blades. The Eastern Conference Semifinal between the Oil Kings and Tigers will begin Friday, April 5th at 7:00 p.m. Tickets for both confirmed second round games at Rexall Place will go on sale Saturday, March 30th at 10:00 a.m.
Game time for Game 1 is set for 7:00 p.m. with doors opening at 6:00 p.m. Advance ticket prices in the second round of the playoffs will start at just $20. Fans are encouraged to purchase their tickets in advance to save compared to ‘day of game’ pricing. Tickets will be available at Ticketmaster outlets, the Rexall Place Box Office or online at OILKINGS.CA.
The Oil Kings 2012-13 season is presented by JLT, Insurance & Risk Management.