May 9, 2013, Edmonton, AB (ISN) – The Edmonton Oil Kings are facing elimination for the second time in the 2013 playoffs.
The Portland Winterhawks turned in another solid road game at Rexall Place where Chicago Blackhawks prospect Mac Carruth turned aside 29 shots in a 2 -1 victory. Portland scored their two goals in the first half of the game and survived a desperate comeback attempt by the Oil Kings sparked by a Mitch Moroz goal early in the third period. The WHL Final heads back to Portland with the Winterhawks enjoying a 3 – 1 series lead and a chance to win the Ed Chynoweth Cup Friday night.
Edmonton outshot the Winterhawks for the second straight night but couldn’t manage to penetrate the Winterhawks stifling defence.
“We’re throwing pucks at him. Some of them are hitting him in the chest,” said Oil Kings forward Curtis Lazar who just missed connecting on a 2 on 1 rush with Stephane Legault late in the third period for what would’ve been the tying goal.
“You saw that Carruth has good rebound control. When the rebounds are there, the defence is doing a good job of boxing out but that’s up to us forwards to fight through those checks and get a stick on that puck.”
The Oil Kings have faced elimination twice in the last 12 calendar months including the Eastern Conference Championship Series with a Game 7 against the Calgary Hitmen and Game 7 against the Portland Winterhawks a year ago. The last time they trailed by 2 games in a series was in 2011 when they bowed out in 4 games to Edmonton Oiler Ryan Nugent Hopkins and the Red Deer Rebels.
“Our backs are against the wall,” said Oil Kings Head Coach Derek Laxdal, “We’re playing an elimination game and our goal is to get this (series) back to Edmonton on Sunday. It’s plain and simple. We’ve got to perform and get a win in Portland. It’s only one game. It takes a bit of pressure off us now because it’s either win or go home.”
Game 5 of the WHL Championship Final Series presented by Husky and Kal Tire goes Friday, May 10th at the Rose Garden in Portland. Puck drop for that game is set for 8:00 p.m. Edmonton time. Fans can catch all the action on SHAW TV, SHAW HD Channel 303, and SHAW Direct ‘Channel 299.
If necessary, Game 6 is set for Edmonton on Sunday, May 12th at 4:00 p.m. which will be another Family Fun Sunday presented by the Edmonton SUN. There’ll be a kids zone for the kids with jumpy castles, face painters and more. Advance ticket sales start at just $20 and are available at the Rexall Place Box Office, at Ticketmaster retail locations and online at OILKINGS.CA.