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Mistakes Bury Oil Kings in Seattle

(ISN) – EDMONTON, ALTA. – The Edmonton Oil Kings learned a hard lesson Thursday night against the Seattle Thunderbirds: if they’re going to make defensive mistakes, it’s going to cost them.

Seattle (6-5-2-1) took advantage of turnovers and defensive errors to jump all over the Oil Kings (9-4-0-2) en route to a 5-2 Seattle victory Thursday night at the Showare Center in Kent, Wash.

“I thought they just outworked us,” said Oil Kings head coach Steve Hamilton. “We need to play with more pace to our game. We have to be harder to play against. We got our show run by a team that was aggressive and in our face.”

Seattle struck early as a wide shot from the Oil Kings led to a two-on-one chance the other way that Matthew Barzal buried from Justin Hickman and scored again before the first period was over as Scott Eansor beat a defender wide and found a wide-open Lane Pederson for his first career goal.

The scoring continued for the Thunderbirds in the second, as a blocked shot from Keegan Kolesar went right to Alexander True who beat Oil Kings netminder Patrick Dea, and Pederson got his second of the night as the Oil Kings turned a puck over in his own zone and he spun and wired a shot over Dea’s shoulder.

Brett Pollock got the Oil Kings on the board with 6:31 remaining in the second period, but Seattle responded less than a minute later as a long shot from Ryan Gropp deflected off an Oil Kings stick and handcuffed Dea.

“We weren’t prepared to play in an intense environment and we didn’t generate a whole ton of opportunity for ourselves,” Hamilton said.

Ashton Sautner added his third of the year for the Oil Kings after some yeoman’s work from the fourth line of Mitchell Walter, Brayden Brown and Garan Magnes midway through the third. Sautner’s sharp-angle shot redirected off a Thunderbird and past Taran Kozun.

“Our fourth line was excellent and did everything in their power to generate positive momentum for us. There simply wasn’t enough of them tonight,” Hamilton said.

Dea made 19 saves while picking up the first loss of his WHL career, while Kozun finished with 18 for the Thunderbirds.

The loss ends Edmonton’s eight-game point streak. It was Edmonton’s first loss to Seattle since November 2008. The Oil Kings will look to start a new one Saturday when they visit the U.S. Division-leading Everett Silvertips.