March 4, 2014, Swift Current (ISN) – For 53 minutes Tuesday night, the Edmonton Oil Kings looked in control. Unfortunately, hockey games last a full 60.
The Oil Kings (45-17-2-1) allowed three goals in the final 7:02 to fall 4-3 to the Swift Current Broncos (34-24-3-6) in Swift Current.
“We got sloppy making turnovers and soft, and it resulted in goals,” said Oil Kings head coach Derek Laxdal. “When we shoot ourselves in the foot, we do a good job of it. That’s three games this year we’ve given up leads in the third period we have to lock down, and you see the results.”
The Oil Kings held a 1-0 lead through the first two periods and extended it to 3-1 early in the third. Things were going Edmonton’s way as Coda Gordon was whistled for a double-minor with 12:50 to play in the third period, giving the Oil Kings four minutes of power play time.
Edmonton struggled to generate offence, however, and the successful penalty kill appeared to energize the Broncos as Nathan Burns and Colby Cave scored 23 seconds apart to tie the game.
Jay Merkley put the Broncos ahead for good with 2:56 to play as a centring pass deflected off an Oil Kings defenceman right to the Swift Current forward.
Henrik Samuelsson had two goals and an assist for Edmonton, extending his point streak to nine games. Mitch Moroz scored the other goal for the Oil Kings, his third in three games, while Reid Petryk had a pair of assists.
“They were very good tonight. They created a lot, but they were on for the winning goal against, so if you play that well, you need to come back the other way too,” Laxdal said. “But they were very good, I thought Sammy played his best game.”
Tristan Jarry made 31 saves in a losing effort for the Oil Kings, staring down some great chances for the Broncos, especially early in the game.
“Tristan was outstanding. You can’t fault him on any of the goals,” Laxdal said. “We’ve got to clean up some areas around the net; you can’t rely on him all the time. They had some pretty good looks, and he can only stop so many of them.”
Eetu Laurikainen stopped 26 shots in the Swift Current net. The Oil Kings finished 0-3 on the power play; Swift Current was 0-2.
Edmonton is back in action Wednesday night as they continue their eastern road trip with a visit to Regina.