October 19, 2013, Edmonton, AB (ISN) – All season long the Edmonton Oil Kings’ penalty kill had been nearly impenetrable at home. Saturday night, the Kootenay Ice found a way through.
The Ice (6-5-1-0) scored three power play goals, including one with under three minutes to play that snapped a 3-3 tie, en route to a 4-3 win over the Oil Kings (5-6-0-1) in front of 7,252 fans at Rexall Place, ending Edmonton’s three-game point streak.
“They’re a team that doesn’t give you much, and when they give you something, you’ve got to be ready to take it,” said Edmonton Head Coach Derek Laxdal. “But when we give them something – and we gave them three power-play goals tonight and that was the difference in the game.”
The most painful strike with the man advantage came when 16-year-old Hudson Elynuik scored his first WHL goal, banging a rebound past Edmonton starter Tyler Santos with 2:51 to play to give Kootenay a 4-3 lead.
“Bad penalty. How about start with that. Let’s start with a bad penalty that was selfish. There’s no need,” said Laxdal.
“You can’t give up a power play like that the way they move it around and they have the best player in the league in Sam Reinhart.”
“Late there, that’s where we have to dig in and really kill that off,” added Oil Kings forward Curtis Lazar. “You have to give them credit. They executed perfectly, and we’re definitely going to have to make some adjustments tonight in preparation for tomorrow.”
The Oil Kings entered the game with a nearly-immaculate record on the penalty kill at Rexall Place, giving up just three goals on 33 attempts, but playing without defencemen Cody Corbett and Dysin Mayo, the team struggled in their own zone.
“We’ve got guys that want to play in certain situations, they want to take those roles on and then they don’t perform. That’s what happened in the last couple of minutes. When we’ve got some guys out of our lineup, guys have got to step up,” Laxdal said.
“I thought (Associate Coach) Steve (Hamilton) did a great job of drawing up what we knew we were going to see, and they did exactly what we thought they were going to do, and our guys just went to sleep. You have to have that big kill right in a 3-3 game.”
Moroz picked up his 11th goal of the season for the Oil Kings, extending his point streak to ten games, while Curtis Lazar scored his ninth of the season and ran his point streak to eight games. Henrik Samuelsson potted the other Oil Kings goal for his 20th point of the season.
Collin Shirley, Jaedon Descheneau and Levi Cable also scored for Kootenay, who got a 28-save performance from Mackenzie Skapski in net.
Santos made 26 saves in a losing cause for the Oil Kings in his second career WHL start, but drew praise for his efforts from his coach.
“I thought Tyler Santos did a great job tonight. I thought he made some great saves for us,” Laxdal said. “He hasn’t played in a while, so I thought he gave us a chance to win. I thought he was solid. When Tyler was called upon to make a save, he was there, but obviously he was hung out to dry a couple times on the power play.”
“I thought I battled really hard. I gave it everything I could. At the end of the day, I maybe need to make a couple more saves on the power play to give us the win. Maybe on that last power play goal, put myself in position to make that second save,” Santos said.
“The outcome was the outcome, but I gave everything I could.”
The Oil Kings are back in action Sunday at 4:00 p.m. in a rematch against the Ice. It’s Family Fun Sunday which means a kids’ carnival, face painting and more. Fans are also asked to bring new or gently used winter coats to donate to the United Way Coats for Kids campaign, which will have collection booths set up around Rexall Place.
1. Hudson Elynuik KTN
2. Reid Petryk EDM
3. Mackenzie Skapski KTN