April 22, 2014, Medicine Hat, Alta. (ISN) – The Edmonton Oil Kings had their chances in Game 3 of the WHL Kal Tire Eastern Conference Championship, but couldn’t find the right finish.
The Oil Kings outshot the Medicine Hat Tigers 44-21 Wednesday night, but fell 2-1 to the home side, cutting their series lead to 2-1.
“Puck luck. It just wasn’t there tonight,” said Oil Kings forward Curtis Lazar. “We had three or four posts and a lot of Grade A opportunities that, if we put those in the net, we probably have a different result.”
“I felt like we did pretty good today,” added Oil Kings forward Mads Eller. “Give credit to (Tigers goalie Marek) Langhamer. He played amazing today for them and we just couldn’t beat him.”
Langhamer made 43 saves for the Tigers, picking up his first win of the series and keeping the puck out of his net even as the Oil Kings flooded the crease.
“He was great. He made the saves his team needed him to, and their defence did a good job of boxing us out,” Lazar said.
Lazar put Edmonton up early, scoring the first goal of the game for the third time this series. The goal was his 47th career playoff point, leaving him the all-time modern Oil Kings leader in playoff games, playoff goals and playoff points.
Medicine Hat answered quickly, however, with a shot off the stick of Tommy Vannelli. The score would stay knotted at 1-1 until late in the second when Chad Labelle redirected a Dylan Bredo shot for the eventual winner.
Overall, the Oil Kings were pleased with the way they played, according to head coach Derek Laxdal.
“I thought it was our best effort of the series so far and obviously it wasn’t good enough to win,” he said. “It’s something to build on.”
Edmonton and Medicine Hat will be right back to business Wednesday night in the Hat. The Tigers win also confirms Game 5 Saturday at Rexall Place in Edmonton. Tickets go on sale Wednesday morning at 10 a.m. at oilkings.ca, the Rexall Place box office or any Ticketmaster location.