Walter’s 1st Sparks Oil Kings
(ISN) – EDMONTON, ALTA. – The least excited Edmonton Oil King about Mitchell Walter’s first WHL goal might have been Mitchell Walter.
The second-year Oil King tallied for the first time in 40 career games, and it wound up the eventual winner as Edmonton (8-3-0-1) downed the Prince George Cougars (7-8-0-0) 5-1 Saturday night at Rexall Place.
“It’s been a long time coming … . All the boys have been wanting to get me one for a long time now,” said Walter.
“It was pretty surreal. (Brandon) Baddock got me in a pretty good headlock.”
Walter was mobbed by his teammates on the ice and on the bench after he fired a rebound over sprawling Prince George goalie Ty Edmonds with 3:42 to go in the second period, giving Edmonton a 2-1 lead.
“We just needed a little spark on that line and I love that Walts got that goal. Our bench really elevated when they saw that happen,” said Steve Hamilton, who bumped Walter up from the fourth line to play with Baddock and Edgars Kulda at the start of the second period.
“That was pretty special,” added Baddock, who finished with one assist on the night. “I think everyone was more excited than him. There were three guys going for his puck, and I was choke-holding him in the slot.”
Luke Bertolucci added a pair of goals of his own, his first two of the season, while Dysin Mayo and Edgars Kulda both tallied on an Oil Kings power play that went 2-4 as the Oil Kings picked up points in their sixth straight game.
“It’s good to get the monkey off the back. Last year I didn’t score until December, so scoring relatively early in the season was a good thing,” joked Bertolucci.
The Oil Kings also held the Cougars to 0-6 on the power play, and Tristan Jarry made 27 saves as the Oil Kings locked down the Cougars offensively.
“Our penalty kill was really good tonight. It was aggressive, and it was really important we got those kills early in the first period,” Hamilton said.
“We were more focussed on playing defensively smart and locking things down,” Bertolucci added. “(On) our forecheck, (Hamilton) has us in their face all night, so we used our speed and created some turnovers.”
Jari Erricson had the lone Cougars goal, while Ty Edmonds made 30 saves in a losing effort.
The Oil Kings will be back in action Sunday afternoon as they take on the Moose Jaw Warriors with a 4 p.m. start time at Rexall Place. It will be the team’s final home game before embarking on a seven-game road trip through the U.S. Division.