February 21, 2014, Edmonton, AB (ISN) – The Edmonton Oil Kings started off slow, but came on strong against the Swift Current Broncos.
Edmonton (43-14-1-1) gave up a shorthanded goal to the Broncos’ Colby Cave just 2:54 into the game Friday night at Rexall Place, but scored the next four unanswered for a 4-1 victory over Swift Current (29-24-2-6).
“The first period, both teams could have played better … but in the second, I think we started pushing and playing the way we wanted to play, and continued that into the third,” said Oil Kings captain Griffin Reinhart. “We’re a confident group, even when we’re down a goal. We’ve been in that situation a lot and we always find a way to come back.”
Edmonton tied it up later in the first as Reinhart, playing in his 200th career WHL game, feathered a pass to Lane Bauer in the slot and Bauer buried it high on Broncos goalie Eetu Laurikainen.
Curtis Lazar gave the Oil Kings the lead with 2:55 to go in the second period, driving the net hard and redirecting a pass from Mads Eller into the back of the Swift Current net. Riley Kieser followed that with a wicked wrist shot into the top corner from the top of the circle to give Edmonton a 3-1 lead after 40.
“It definitely … got a spark for the team,” Eller said. “We got that goal, and from that point, we really pushed.”
Ashton Sautner rounded out the scoring for Edmonton with a wrist shot from the point 1:49 into the third.
Tristan Jarry made 25 saves, coming out big in the first two periods as the Oil Kings were, at one point, being outshot 18-12 (the shots finished 35-26 in favour of Edmonton).
“He was good. We were getting outshot, and he made some big saves, especially on the penalty kill,” said Oil Kings head coach Derek Laxdal.
Eetu Laurikainen made 16 saves on 20 shots before being chased by Sautner’s goal. Replacement Landon Bow stopped all 15 shots he faced.
The Oil Kings maintained their first-place position in the WHL Eastern Conference winning their third in a row and 20th in their last 23. Edmonton remains tied with the Calgary Hitmen, who also won Friday, with 88 points, but own first place by virtue of two more wins and a better winning percentage due to three games in hand.
Edmonton will be back on the ice at Rexall Saturday night as the host the Vancouver Giants for the second annual Pink at the Rink. The Oil Kings will wear special pink jerseys for the game that will be auctioned off post-game. Select players will also use pink sticks that will also be up for auction. All proceeds will go to support of Sorrentino’s Compassion House, the Alberta Cancer Foundation and the Prairies/Northwest Territories chapter of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.