April 19, 2013, Edmonton, AB (ISN) – The Edmonton Oil Kings have tied their 2013 Eastern Conference Championship series with the Calgary Hitmen at 1 game apiece thanks to a 6 – 0 victory on home ice Friday night.
Henrik Samuelsson’s team leading 8th goal of the season 6:13 into the contest held up as the game winner and Martin Gernat added a pair of powerplay goals and a 4-point night enroute to a 6 – 0 win.
The Oil Kings busted the tight game wide open with a flurry of powerplay goals in the last 11 minutes of the contest to send home the crowd of 9,447 fans breathing a collective sigh of relief. Edmonton and Calgary are now tied at a game a piece as the series shifts south to the Saddledome.
The Oil Kings win ensures there will be a Game 5 in the series at Rexall Place on Friday, April 26th. Tickets go on sale on Saturday, April 20th at 10:00 a.m. and are available starting at just $20 in advance. Those are available at the Rexall Place Box Office, at TicketMaster outlets or online at OILKINGS.CA.
Oil Kings Head Coach Derek Laxdal wasn’t focusing on the stats after the game. He was more concerned about the big picture in the series.
“The intensity picked up tonight. Obviously when we got up two, three-nothing they started to take some penalties but just like we spoke to those kids in there, our main goal tonight was trying to tie this series up 1-1 and get it back to Calgary for a best of five and Calgary has home ice. It’s going to be exciting and I know the kids are excited to play Tuesday night. It was a little ugly at times, especially on our powerplay, but it came through in the third period.”
Curtis Lazar, Ashton Sautner and Trevor Cheek rounded out the scoring for Edmonton. Laurent Brossoit turned aside 23 shots for his fourth shutout of the playoffs. The Oil Kings poured 50 shots on both Hitmen goalies.
Both teams had plenty of opportunities to stretch the game out with multiple 5 on 3 powerplays. Edmonton had only scored 1 goal in 14 powerplays in the series before Martin Gernat unloaded a cannon of a shot for his third of the playoffs to give the Oil Kings some breathing room down the stretch.
“I think the first period was really good for us but the second we had a lot of opportunity on the powerplay and didn’t score so the game was tight,” explained Gernat. “In the third period, we started with a couple powerplays and we scored the second goal which I think was important for us.”
The Hitmen took a barrage of penalties in the third period to make the official powerplay count 3 for 14 for the Oil Kings and 0 for 4 on the night for Calgary.
Games 3 and 4 of this series will be played in Calgary on Tuesday and Wednesday of next week. The entire 2013 Husky WHL Eastern Conference Championship series between the Edmonton Oil Kings and Calgary Hitmen will be televised LIVE on SHAW on Channel 304 and SHAW Direct Channel 299 throughout Western Canada.
Husky Eastern Conference Championship Series Schedule
Edmonton Oil Kings (1) vs Calgary Hitmen (3)
Game 1 – Thursday, April 18 – Calgary @ Edmonton – 7:00 p.m. (Hitmen win 3 – 2 F/OT)
Game 2 – Friday, April 19 – Calgary @ Edmonton – 7:00 p.m. (Oil Kings win 6 – 0)
Game 3 – Tuesday, April 23 – Edmonton @ Calgary – 7:00 p.m.
Game 4 – Wednesday, April 24 – Edmonton @ Calgary – 7:00 p.m.
*Game 5 – Friday, April 26 – Calgary @ Edmonton – 7:00 p.m.
*Game 6 – Sunday, April 28 – Edmonton @ Calgary – 4:00 p.m.
*Game 7 – Tuesday, April 30 – Calgary @ Edmonton – 7:00 p.m.