Team Effort Tops Blazers

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(ISN) – EDMONTON, ALTA. – It took a full team effort to snap a three-game losing skid for the Edmonton Oil Kings Wednesday night.

The Oil Kings (15-12-3-2) received contributions up and down the lineup en route to a 4-1 win over the Kamloops Blazers (12-16-3-2) at Rexall Place.

“It was a real good team effort, and you can’t always say that,” said Oil Kings head coach Steve Hamilton. “I thought tonight we got real good contributions throughout the lineup.”

“I think just overall intensity (made the difference). … Little things that we could have been doing better, we did better,” added defenceman Ben Carroll.

The Oil Kings were a perfect 7-7 on the penalty kill Wednesday night, including a 7:08 stretch of the second period that saw them kill four consecutive minors, including two five-on-threes.

“That was huge. If you look at the game in a whole, that was definitely the turning point,” said Oil Kings captain Ashton Sautner.

“We were very poised and very even keel in that situation, and I thought that was a good recognition from our guys not to get flustered, to recognize what they needed to do,” Hamilton added.

Andrew Koep had a goal and an assist for Edmonton, while Carroll, Aaron Irving and Brandon Ralph also tallied for the home side.

Koep opened the scoring midway through the first period as he took a feed from Brett Pollock and snapped a quick release past Kamloops goaltender Connor Ingram.

“He’s got a great release. He’s lights out around the net,” Hamilton said. “It wouldn’t break a plane of glass – we joke with him all the time about it – but it’s his release he scores with, not the power of his shot.”

Luke Harrison responded for the Blazers in the second period, but late in the frame Carroll fired a bomb from the point that beat Ingram to restore the lead.

Aaron Irving blasted another point shot to the back of the net early in the third, and Ralph rounded out the scoring with his first of the year with a long-range shot into the empty net.

“He’s a great teammate, he’s a great kid that has been a real good citizen here. His totals haven’t matched his approach, his totals haven’t matched his attitude … so I love that he just looked up and fired a dart into the net,” Hamilton said with a smile.

Tristan Jarry made 23 saves for the victory, while Ingram stopped 29 pucks. Sautner’s 12-game point streak came to an end, tying him with Michael St. Croix and Dylan Wruck for the franchise record.

The Oil Kings are back in action Saturday as they visit the Kootenay Ice.

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