(ISN) – EDMONTON, ALTA. – The Edmonton Oil Kings were missing a timely goal Saturday night.
The Oil Kings (16-15-3-2) put the pressure on the Red Deer Rebels (19-13-3-1) late, but couldn’t find the equalizer as they fell 3-2 at Rexall Place.
“When we don’t score easily, our margins for error are so small,” said Oil Kings head coach Steve Hamilton. “We play hard in a game like that, and we need that goal, we need that moment where someone is able to cash for us, and at times we struggle.”
Edmonton’s Brandon Baddock had a shot to tie the game with 1:30 left, as he broke in alone on Rylan Toth but couldn’t get the puck past the goalie’s pad. Kayle Doetzel flipped the rebound over the glass for a delay-of-game penalty, setting up a madcap six-on-four final minute where the Oil Kings got numerous chances but couldn’t put the puck in the net.
“That was quite a flurry. We had all kinds of chances, it felt like we were positioned well, we maintained possession, we swarmed it, we got some shots in and around the net. We just couldn’t find a way to get one in, which was disappointing,” said Hamilton.
Overall the Oil Kings were happy with the effort in their first game back from the holiday break, if not the end result.
“I thought we did some positive things tonight. Scoring’s always our nemesis, but I thought we did some positive things in the way we defended,” Hamilton said.
“It was a good way to start (the second half),” added Oil Kings defenceman Ben Carroll. “Obviously we’d like to get the two points, but we worked hard as a team. Now we just need to make the next step in the next game.”
Edmonton opened the scoring 11:34 into the first period as Carroll broke in on the Red Deer goal and slipped a nifty deke five-hole on Toth.
Red Deer countered before the end of the period as Riley Sheen flipped one high to Conner Bleackley, and the Rebels captain buried a wrist shot top shelf.
Red Deer took a 2-1 lead early in the second as the puck popped to Wyatt Johnson off a faceoff and he quickly snapped it past Tristan Jarry.
Brett Pollock tied it up for Edmonton three minutes later as Lane Bauer drew two defenders then found the Oil Kings leading scorer with a cross-ice pass for a one-timer.
Johnson struck again late in the second, however, taking a feed from Brooks Maxwell and notching his second of the night for the eventual game winner.
Jarry finished with 26 saves in a losing effort, while Toth made 30 to get the win for the Rebels.
The two teams will get another shot at one another Sunday night as they square off in Red Deer.