April 18, 2014, Edmonton, Alta (ISN) – It didn’t take long for the Edmonton Oil Kings to shake off any rust after having a week off.
The Oil Kings scored twice in the first 1:06 of the opening game of the WHL Eastern Conference Championship Friday night at Rexall Place, erupted for five goals in the first nine minutes of the second period and rolled to an 8-3 win and 1-0 series lead over the Medicine Hat Tigers.
“We couldn’t have scripted it any better,” said Oil Kings forward Curtis Lazar.
“It was obviously huge. … We just didn’t stop. We got up there and got the lead we needed.”
Lazar put Edmonton up just 32 seconds in, driving hard to the net and slipping the puck under a sprawling Marek Langhamer. Just 34 seconds later, Henrik Samuelsson found Cody Corbett cutting hard to the net and Corbett put the Oil Kings up 2-0.
“Great job by Curtis to go down and get a goal like that,” Corbett said. “It really helps us set the tone for the rest of the game if we get a quick goal on them like that.
“(The coaches) really harp on getting that first puck in deep and really grinding out those first couple minutes down in their end.”
Things got lopsided in the first half of the second period as Dysin Mayo, Brett Pollock, Corbett, Griffin Reinhart and Luke Bertolucci all scored in a 6:22 span to give the Oil Kings a 7-0 lead and put the game out of reach.
“We were just making plays,” Corbett said. “(Mayo) made a nice play and Henrik made a great pass. Griff got a good chance and he buried it.
“We did what we had to do, and it showed.”
Brandon Baddock would add the final Oil Kings goal late in the third period, his first of the playoffs, and Tristan Jarry stopped 28 shots to get the win. Henrik Samuelsson, Reid Petryk, Edgars Kulda and Mads Eller all had two assists for the Oil Kings, while Lazar finished with a goal and an assist.
Curtis Valk scored a pair for the Tigers, while Alex Mowbray had the other Medicine Hat goal. Langhamer made 17 saves on 22 shots, while Nick Schneider, who replaced him for part of the second period allowed three goals on eight shots.
The Oil Kings and Tigers will go for round two Sunday at 4 p.m. back at Rexall Place.