April 18, 2013, Edmonton, AB (ISN)- The Edmonton Oil Kings find themselves trailing a series for the first time in the 2013 WHL Playoffs following a 3 – 2 overtime loss to the Calgary Hitmen in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Championship.
The Hitmen scored 2 goals on just 17 shots through regulation time and held on long enough for Brady Brassart to score the game winner moments after Oil Kings forward Curtis Lazar rang a shot off the crossbar early in overtime.
“It’s a game of inches.” said Lazar “This will be good for our hockey club to face some adversity for really the first time in the last two years. I thought we showed a lot tonight coming from behind but just didn’t get the bounce there when we needed it.”
“They have some big “d”, but like I said, I thought we started to tire them out.” said former Hitmen Trevor Cheek who put the Oil Kings on the board 6:18 into the second period. ” I thought we were getting pucks deep and playing well in the offensive zone. We just have to make sure we out-battle them. It’s playoff hockey. You have to compete and win puck battles.”
Reigning WHL player of the week, Henrik Samuelsson, scored a powerplay goal with just under seven minutes remaining in regulation time to force the extra frame.
The Oil Kings controlled most of the play in this contest and had a significant lead on the shot clock for most of the night including a 33 – 17 lead after regulation time. Each team managed 2 shots on goal in the extra frame. Laxdal says his team is well-equipped to handle some adversity.
“Obviously the guys don’t feel too good about the result here tonight. We’ll find out tomorrow (Friday) night how we face adversity. Calgary is not going to come in here and lie down. They are going to play harder with a chance to get two games out of here.”
Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Final goes Friday night at Rexall Place. Puck drop is 7:00 p.m. Tickets are available at OILKINGS.CA, the Rexall Place Box Office or at Ticketmaster Outlets.