April 8, 2014, Brandon, Man. (ISN) – The magic numbers for the Edmonton Oil Kings Tuesday night were apparently five and three.
Five Oil Kings tallied for a 5-2 win over the Brandon Wheat Kings, giving Edmonton a 3-0 series lead-largely because the Oil Kings capitalized twice on five-on-three power plays while killing off a full two-minute two-man advantage for Brandon in the third period.
After Curtis Lazar made it 3-1 with a redirect of a Mitch Moroz shot on a five-on-three midway through the third, Ashton Sautner was called for a high stick with about six minutes to play. As Brandon controlled the puck on the delayed call, Griffin Reinhart was called for a trip, sending the Oil Kings’ top defensive pairing to the box and handing Brandon a two-man advantage.
A combination of Curtis Lazar, Riley Kieser, Cody Corbett, Dysin Mayo and Tristan Jarry were up to the task, however, keeping the Brandon power play at bay for 120 seconds and the score 3-1.
“I thought our guys really stepped up: Curtis with a couple blocked shot, Kieser with a couple. I think Cody Corbett and Dysin Mayo played the full two minutes,” said Oil Kings head coach Derek Laxdal.
“That really sealed it for us,” added Mads Eller. “It was really huge that they didn’t get a goal there.”
As the penalties expired, the puck was flipped to Reinhart coming out of the box, who beat Wheat Kings captain Ryan Pulock to the puck in a foot race, drew a holding call, and set up Lazar in the slot. Lazar’s shot was stopped by Wheaties goaltender Jordan Papirny, and the Oil Kings forward was drilled with a slash from John Quenneville as the whistle blew, giving Edmonton a five-on-three of their own for two minutes.
“It was key for us to score on that. … It was key for us to get those power-play goals,” Laxdal said.
Just 26 seconds later Sautner’s point shot found the back of the net for his third power-play goal in three games against Brandon to make it 4-1, all but sealing the victory for Edmonton.
Mitch Moroz finished with a goal and two assists for Edmonton, while Lazar had a goal and an assist and Mads Eller had two helpers. Kieser and Bertolucci also scored for Edmonton, which outshot Brandon 43-34.
Tristan Jarry had his playoff shutout streak stopped at 181:24 with John Quenneville’s second period goal, just 18 minutes shy of the WHL postseason record. The Edmonton netminder, named CHL Goaltender of the Week earlier in the day still made 32 saves to get the win.
Papirny stopped 38 shots for the Wheat Kings, who also got a goal from Richard Nejezchleb with 1:01 left on the clock.
Edmonton and Brandon will go to battle once more Wednesday night in the Wheat City, with the Oil Kings needing one more win to end the series.