Oil Kings let Ice slip away

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January 12, 2014, Cranbrook (ISN) – A bad third period cost the Edmonton Oil Kings their latest win streak. The Oil Kings allowed four goals in the final frame, coughing up 3-1 and 4-2 leads en route to a 5-4 loss to the Kootenay Ice Sunday night in Cranbrook, B.C. The loss snapped a six-game winning streak for Edmonton.

“I don’t know if we’re mentally fatigued or what, but we had a 4-2 lead and guys just missed assignments and imploded,” said Oil Kings head coach Derek Laxdal. “Obviously give Kootenay credit, they were sitting here waiting for us, but we have a 4-2 lead, and we’re good enough to close that out no matter who we’re playing.”

The Ice opened the scoring 7:37 into the first period when Zach Franko got them on the board, but Edmonton responded later in the period on Brandon Baddock’s fifth of the year.

In the second period, Edmonton took control of the game on a pair of goals by Mitch Moroz. Moroz, who finished the game with three points, now leads the team with 25 goals on the season.

From the start of the third, however, things started to go sideways for the Oil Kings as the Kootenay line of Franko, Sam Reinhart and Jaedon Descheneau generated plenty of opportunities in the offensive zone.

Reinhart cut the lead to 3-2 just 72 seconds into the final period, and while Edgars Kulda put Edmonton back up by a pair, Tim Bozon and Reinhart scored 31 seconds apart to make it a 4-4 game less than five minutes into the period. Franko’s second of the game on the power play with 8:54 to play gave the Ice the lead for good.

“They’re highly skilled, talented guys, and they made good on the mistakes that they exposed,” Laxdal said.

Tristan Jarry made 24 saves for the Oil Kings, while Mackenzie Skapski made 25 in the Kootenay net. Both power plays finished the game 1-3.

Edmonton wraps up their road trip with a 2-1-0-0 record over a three-night stretch. The Oil Kings will be back in action Friday when they make their annual visit to the Prince George Cougars for the first of back-to-back games.