April 24, 2013, Calgary, AB (ISN) – The Edmonton Oil Kings turned in another bounce back game handling the Hitmen 7 – 3 Wednesday night at the Saddledome in Calgary.
The Husky Eastern Conference Championship Series is all tied at two games apiece heading back to Edmonton for a huge Game 5. Tickets for Friday’s game back at Rexall Place are on sale now with plenty of great seats available for what promises to be one of the largest crowds of the 2013 WHL Playoffs.
“I thought our guys really responded well,” said Oil Kings Head Coach Derek Laxdal, “we challenged them with a couple things today and you got to give them credit. They came out with a lot of spark and got the early lead, and it’s tough to hold the lead for most of the game. I thought our guys did a really good job of keeping their composure. All we did tonight was tie the series 2-2 and we get a chance to take it back to Edmonton and regain home ice advantage and hopefully we can get that next one on Friday night.”
For the third straight game in this series, one of the teams exploded for 5 goals in a period. It was the Oil Kings turn in the first period scoring four of those goals in just over ten minutes to take a commanding lead. TJ Foster scored 2 of those goals just over two minutes into the game. Defencemen Martin Gernat and Ashton Sautner chipped in offensively with the Oil Kings playing shorthanded on the blue line. Captain Griffin Reinhart returned to Edmonton before the game to re-evaluate a lower body injury suffered in Game 3.
Travis Ewanyk and Dylan Wruck and Michael St. Croix added singles for Edmonton. For Wruck, it was his first of the playoffs to go with his team-leading 10 assists. St. Croix finished with a 4-point night. Foster finished with a 3-pointnight. Foster says the message from the coaching staff was well received.
“We had a meeting with the leaders of the team, so to say, and we knew we needed to step up. Game 3 wasn’t our best performance and we needed to rebound. I think the guys did a great job doing that and we have to keep it going. It’s a 3-game series now with home ice so we have to take advantage of that.”
Michael St. Croix added that the motivation didn’t need to come from the coaches.
“Game 3 was a tough loss, and in the dressing room we kept saying we want to play for each other. You look at the guy beside you and that’s what we did tonight, played for each other.”
Calder Brooks scored Calgary’s only goal of the first period as Edmonton took a 5 – 1 lead into the intermission. Brooks Macek tallied on a penalty shot and Elliot Peterson scored to round out the Hitmen scoring. Edmonton goalie Laurent Brossoit was sensational again when he needed to be with a few highlight reel saves including a critical 5 on 3 penalty kill in the first period. He finished with 22 saves for his 10th win of the post-season.
Game 5 of the series is set for Friday, April 26th back in Edmonton at Rexall Place. Puck drop is set for 7:00 p.m. Tickets are on sale now at any Ticketmaster outlet, at the Rexall Place Box Office or online at OILKINGS.CA