Oil Kings Best Blades for Record Start
(ISN) – EDMONTON, ALTA. – For all the things the Edmonton Oil Kings have accomplished over the past three seasons, they have never started a season with seven wins in their first 10 games. Until now.
The Oil Kings improved to 7-3-0-0 on the season with a 6-4 victory over the Saskatoon Blades (3-7-0-0) Saturday night in Saskatoon, giving the team four straight wins and the best start through 10 games in modern franchise history.
“I’m shocked by that, to be honest,” admitted Oil Kings head coach Steve Hamilton. “We’ve had some pretty good team efforts. When we’ve been able to generate offence, it’s come from a variety of sources. With the exception of tonight, we’ve defended pretty hard, and that’s always going to be backbone for us.
“I think we are very open to getting better. I give our guys credit, we always ask for a lot from them. We ask them to be willing to change and develop, and I think they’ve got a pretty good mindset. That’s a big part of the success of our team: we’ve taken some pretty positive steps forward in the season.”
While Hamilton was unhappy with the Oil Kings’ defensive performance after they took a 6-2 lead in the third period, calling the game “sloppy” on both sides, he was pleased with the team’s offensive output as Andrew Koep and Blake Orban each scored a pair.
“I thought we capitalized on some of our chances. Andrew Koep was really good offensively tonight and buried a couple critical goals,” he said. “Blake’s offensive contributions in the last couple games has been great. He’s been able to find a way to get up in the play. It’s always nice when you’re getting contributions from a guy like Blake.”
Cole Benson chipped in with his second shorthanded goal in four games, part of a two-point night, while Dysin Mayo had the other Edmonton goal, notching his first of the year on the power play. Ashton Sautner and Brett Pollock each had three assists on the night for Edmonton, while Patrick Dea made 25 saves for his second win of the season.
Alex Forsberg had a pair of power play goals for Saskatoon, while Ryan Graham and Austin Adamson also tallied for the Blades. Alex Moodie stopped 29 of 35 shots he faced.
The Oil Kings will now return home to face the Lethbridge Hurricanes Tuesday at Rexall Place.