Oil Kings Come Up Empty

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May 4, 2013, Portland, OR (ISN) – The Portland Winterhawks downed the Edmonton Oil Kings 3 – 0 Saturday night at the Rose Garden in Portland.

The best-of-seven WHL Championship Series is all knotted up at a game apiece and shifts back to Edmonton for Games 3 and 4 Tuesday and Wednesday at Rexall Place. The Winterhawks came out of the gates flying for a second straight night and cashed in on a parade to the penalty box by the Oil Kings in the first period. Ty Rattie scored a powerplay goal in the first, Brendan Leipsic and Oliver Bjorkstrand scored :85 seconds apart late in the second period and Mac Carruth needed 16 saves to register his 5th shutout of the playoffs.

Oil Kings Head Coach Derek Laxdal says they put themselves in hole.

“I thought right from the get-go, Portland really took it to us tonight. Obviously the penalties didn’t help us in the first period. I believe we took four minor penalties and we couldn’t gain any traction in the game and I think that just carried out throughout the game. We have to be disciplined. With Portland’s skill level, when you’re going to sit in the box all night, they’re going to tear you apart. That’s the message to the guys after the game.”

“I think we just got a bit too amped up,” said Oil Kings veteran forward Stephane Legault. “It’s hard for us when we’re killing three or four times in a period to get everyone rolling and keep momentum in the game. It’s tough on the guys that have to kill it; it takes away the energy. So we’ve got to work on staying out of the box because 5 on 5, we can play with them.”

Intensity picked up early in the second period as the Oil Kings attempted to play themselves back into the contest. It really heated up when Adam De Champlain caught Oil Kings leading goal-scorer Henrik Samuelsson with an ugly looking knee-on-knee hit. De Champlain was only assessed an 2:00 minor penalty and Samuelsson returned to the game after a quick visit to the trainer’s room.

Edmonton goalie Laurent Brossoit kept his team in the game as long as he could. The shots on goal were 11 – 3 after the first period in favour of Portland and each team traded 11 shots in the middle period. Brossoit and Carruth are now tied for the playoff lead with 5 shutouts each.

Games 3 and 4 of the series are set for back in Edmonton on Tuesday, May 7th and Wednesday, May 8th. Tickets for those games at Rexall Place are on sale now at Ticketmaster locations, at the Rexall Place Box Office or online at OILKINGS.CA.