May 12 2014 ISN – Portland, OR. – The Edmonton Oil Kings captured the Ed Chynoweth Cup as WHL
Champions after defeating the Portland Winterhawks 4-2 in Game 7 of the 2014 WHL
Championship Series on Monday night at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Portland, OR.
A four-goal second period propelled the Oil Kings to the victory in the
winner-take-all affair, giving them their second WHL Championship in three seasons.
The series win also gives the Oil Kings a victory in the ‘rubber match’ with
Portland, as the Clubs have met in the WHL final in each of the last three years
with each team winning in the first two meetings.
“It’s surreal,” said Oil Kings’ captain Griffin Reinhart, who was named the MVP of
the WHL Championship Series. “This team has got great character and we never give
up…We were down 2-0 in the series and 2-0 in Game 3, but we always found a
Indeed, it was a big response by Edmonton, who suffered a major blow just one night
earlier in Game 6 at home, with Portland erasing a three-goal lead in the third
period en route to a 6-5 overtime win to force the seventh and deciding game.
However, the Oil Kings found a way to put the Game 6 disappointment behind them and
put forth a Championship-winning effort when it mattered most.
Trailing 1-0 after the first period in Game 7, the Oil Kings pulled even on Mitch
Moroz’s sixth goal of the playoffs just 3:50 into the second frame. Curtis Lazar
put the Oil Kings up with a shorthanded effort at the 9:02 mark, and Reid Petryk
made it 3-1 just 40 seconds later. Mads Eller would also score in Edmonton’s
dominant second period.
“Being down 2-0 to the (Winterhawks), we had no doubt that we would win,” said
Curtis Lazar. “It shows a lot about our guys and the character we have…we knew we
were going to win, and it took us seven games to do it.
“We are warriors, and we found a way to win,” he said. “Huge props to the Portland
Winterhawks too though, three years in a row, and it’s been a battle.”
Oliver Bjorkstrand and Brendan Leipsic had the goals for the Winterhawks, who came
out strong in the first period but were outshot 15-5 in a costly second period.
Tristan Jarry made 32 saves in the Oil Kings’ net, capturing the Ed Chynoweth Cup as
the team’s starter after having backed up Laurent Brossoit in each of the last two
years. Brendan Burke stopped 29 of 33 shots while taking the loss in his first
start of the Championship series.
As they did in their Eastern Conference Championship celebration, the Oil Kings paid
special tribute to former team mate Kristians Pelss by holding his jersey high.
Pelss, who had been a part of the Oil Kings’ run to the WHL Championship Series in
each of the last two years, passed away tragically last summer.
An emotional Mitch Moroz knew his good friend and team mate was with them through
their whole run to the 2014 Championship.
“He helped us win this game, and I was praying to him throughout the game,” said Moroz.
“This is amazing, and I’m so proud of these guys,” he said. “With everything we’ve
been through, losing last night then getting another chance to do it on their ice,
it feels great.”
The Oil Kings won’t have a lot of time to bask in their victory as they’ll have to
turn their focus to the MasterCard Memorial Cup tournament in London, ON, beginning
on the weekend.
“We fly home tomorrow morning and head out the next day, so it’s a quick
turnaround…but we wouldn’t have it any other way,” said head coach Derek Laxdal.
NOTES: The Winterhawks outshot the Oil Kings 14-12 in the opening period and 15-6 in
the third period…Edmonton went 0-for-2 on the power play in the contest while
Portland was 1-for-5 with the man advantage…Attendance was 10,095 for Game 7…The
Winterhawks are 1-3 in the WHL Championship Series over the last four years…Eight
members of the Oil Kings were part of the team that won the 2012 WHL championship.