May 11, 2013, Portland, OR (ISN) – The Edmonton Oil Kings survived their third elimination game of the 2013 WHL Playoffs and forced a Game 6 in the WHL Final thanks to a thrilling and gutsy 3 – 2 overtime victory over the Winterhawks in Portland Friday night.
Michael St. Croix scored all three Edmonton goals including the overtime winner, all set up by 20-year old veteran Dylan Wruck. The two best teams in the league battled in the hardest hitting and tightest checking game of the series so far. The teams were deadlocked at 1 – 1 after 40 minutes and traded goals in the third period to set up the dramatic finish. Michael St. Croix scored on the rush at 7:24 of the first overtime to extend the series. The Oil Kings will try to stave off elimination one more time on home ice Sunday afternoon at Rexall Place.
“That was one heckuva an effort by our guys but you know what, we still have a lot of work to do and it gives us a chance to play another day. It was an outstanding game.” said Oil Kings Head Coach Derek Laxdal who had high praise for his veteran line of Michael St. Croix, Dylan Wruck and TJ Foster who combined for 7 points on the night.
“As an over age group plus Michael (St. Croix) being a 19-year old, I thought they really stepped up to the plate tonight and obviously wanted to leave it all on the ice. They did a great job on all three goals. They’re a big part of our team. They hung in there, they battled, they persevered and they get a chance to play another day.”
Edmonton now has 3 wins in their last 4 games in Portland including a regular season game in February plus three playoff games this spring. It’s also the first overtime victory of these playoffs for Edmonton in four attempts. St. Croix now has 14 goals and 26 points in the post-season and jumps ahead of two Winterhawks into second place in the league playoff scoring race. St. Croix describes the final push in the third period after generating just 12 shots through the first 40 minutes and another 18 the rest of the game.
“It’s do or die at that point. If they win that period, they win the series and we’re done. We knew it was a big period for us. They tied it up there but fortunately for us, we got it in overtime.”
Laurent Brossoit turned in another MVP style performance making 49 saves on the night. Joey Baker scored 15 seconds into the game and Brendan Leipsic scored the only goals for Portland.
Game 6 of the series is set for Rexall Place back in Edmonton on Sunday afternoon. Puck drop is scheduled for 4:00 p.m. Advanced ticket sales for this Championship hockey start at just $20 and are available at the Rexall Place Box Office, at Ticketmaster retail locations and online at OILKINGS.CA It will also be another Family Fun Sunday with a fun zone for the kids, face painters, balloon artists and more.