March 7, 2014, Brandon (ISN) – The Edmonton Oil Kings haven’t been happy with their starts recently. Friday night in Brandon, they solved that problem.
Edmonton (47-17-2-1) roared out of the gate against the Wheat Kings (31-28-6-3), scoring three times and chasing starting goaltender Curtis Honey after just seven minutes en route to a 6-3 win.
“Starting well and scoring for us are two different things, and tonight we started well and scored,” said Oil Kings head coach Derek Laxdal. “Brandon’s got a good young hockey club, so it was important to get the lead early.
“I thought we had good energy. We worked hard, were tracking pucks and we had a good work ethic.”
Mads Eller and Curtis Lazar each scored a pair for the Oil Kings, while Brett Pollock had a pair of assists. Brandon Ralph and Reid Petryk also scored for Edmonton, who held off a response from the Wheat Kings to win for the second game in a row.
“I thought we had a really good start to the game and then we got a little loose, but at the end of the day we did a really good job of closing out and got the two points despite Brandon pushing back a little at the end there,” Laxdal said.
Brandon had power play goals from John Quenneville and Ryley Lindgren and an even strength marker from Rihards Bukarts while finishing 2-6 on the power play. Edmonton was 1-6 with the man advantage.
Tristan Jarry made 26 saves while picking up his 41st win of the season between the pipes for the Oil Kings as Edmonton outshot Brandon 39-29.
With the win, coupled with Calgary’s 5-2 loss to Prince Albert, the Oil Kings are now in sole possession of first place in the WHL Eastern Conference, two points up on the Hitmen with a game in hand.
Edmonton will wrap up this four-game road trip with a stop in Moose Jaw Saturday night.