January 28, 2014, Edmonton, AB (ISN) – On a day when the Edmonton Oil Kings played host to over 7,000 school kids, a school kid of their own led the team to victory.
An early 11:30 a.m. start for the 5th Annual CN Hockey Hooky was even earlier for Brett Pollock, who was up before the sun to write his Chemistry 30 diploma exam. That didn’t stop the 17-year-old winger from scoring a pair as the Oil Kings (35-13-0-1) downed the Brandon Wheat Kings (26-18-5-0) 4-2 in front of 11,339 fans at Rexall Place.
“Me, Dysin Mayo and (Aaron) Irving were up at 6 a.m. to get a diploma over with, so pretty weird morning,” Pollock said. “We’ll see (how it went) in a month or so.”
Pollock notched his team-leading eighth power-play marker of the season and later added the Oil Kings’ fourth goal, driving the net to poke home a puck left in the crease after a deke by Curtis Lazar. The two goals give Pollock 13 points in 12 games in January.
“We needed some momentum there. We were kind of on our heels in the first period,” Pollock said.
“My linemates, Curtis Lazar and Edgars Kulda, are making it pretty easy for me. Curtis attracts a lot of attention from the other team, so it opens up a lot of space for me and Eddie, and the chemistry between us is clicking right now. We’re just getting our bounces.”
The Oil Kings got off to a slow start, taking three penalties in the first period while trailing 1-0 on a goal from Jayce Hawryluk and being outshot 14-7 in the frame. From there, however, they recovered, scoring three times in the second period to take control of the game.
“We weren’t prepared, I guess. It happens sometimes. You’re not going to start every game the way you want,” said Oil Kings captain Griffin Reinhart. “I think a lot of character was shown coming back in that second period especially and continuing into the third.
“Our team has done a really good job this year of coming back and reenergizing our group. We never disbelieve in our team.”
Riley Kieser and Mitch Moroz also scored for the Oil Kings, while Henrik Samuelsson picked up a pair of assists. Tristan Jarry made 27 saves for his 31st win of the season.
Peter Quenneville had the second goal for Brandon, while Wheaties goalie Curtis Honey stopped 25 shots.
Brandon finished the game 1-3 on the power-play, while the Oil Kings were 1-1.
Edmonton is back in action Friday when they play host to the Tri-City Americans.