Oil Kings streak snapped in Kelowna

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November 9, 2013, Kelowna BC (ISN) – The Edmonton Oil Kings couldn’t keep the puck out of their net forever, but the team came about as close as you can. After more than 12 periods without allowing a goal, the Oil Kings netminders finally caved in a 2-0 loss to the Kelowna Rockets Saturday in Kelowna.

Justin Kirkland grabbed a pinballing puck at the side of the net as Tristan Jarry got the butt of his stick caught in the net, and Kirkland banged home the loose puck at 9:34 of the second period, ending the Oil Kings’ shutout streak at 257 minutes and 44 seconds.

Edmonton (12-8-0-1), playing their fifth game in seven days, were outshot 30-25 by the Rockets (14-2-0-0) and struggled for offence on the night, especially on the power play going 0-8.

“We were pretty gassed. We didn’t have a lot of energy left in our game. Five games in seven nights looked like it caught up to us and we were playing the best team in the league, so it’s not a great recipe for success,” said Edmonton Head Coach Derek Laxdal. “But the guys really battled out there, Tristan Jarry was outstanding.

“The one area we need to improve on is our power play. We seem to be a little dysfunctional and out there and I know the guys were gripping the sticks a little bit. That’s one area we’ve really got to put some work in.”

Jordon Cooke made 25 saves to get the win for the Rockets, while Kris Schmidli added an insurance goal for Kelowna in the third period as the Rockets won their seventh game in a row.

Tristan Jarry, who had his personal shutout streak snapped at 197:44, was solid in the Oil Kings net, making 28 saves in a losing cause.

The loss also ended Edmonton’s four-game winning streak. The Oil Kings wrapped up eight straight road games with a 6-2-0-0 record over that stretch, a mark that Laxdal can’t help but be happy with.

“It’s a long road trip for us and if you would have asked me at the start of the road trip if I would be happy with that, I’d say we’ll shoot for that. It’s got us back to where we want to be and we’ll build on it,” he said.

“We got some secondary scoring from our third and fourth line and saw some good play from our young players, and the penalty kill was good.”

Edmonton will now head back to Rexall Place for their first home game in 24 days when they host the Moose Jaw Warriors Thursday, November 14.

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