Oil Kings’ Kill Thrives vs. Pats

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(ISN) – EDMONTON, ALTA. – The Edmonton Oil Kings penalty kill continues to be on a tear.

The Oil Kings (20-16-3-2) killed off all nine Regina power plays, running their streak to six straight games and 41 consecutive penalty kills without giving up a goal with the man advantage as they downed the Pats 4-1 Friday night in Regina.

“I thought it was a really good group effort on the penalty kill tonight,” said Oil Kings head coach Steve Hamilton. “We had lots of guys in the rotation and certainly everyone was on the same page.”

Tristan Jarry made 36 saves, including seven on an early four-on-three-then-five-on-three shorthanded sequence and two more highlight-reel stops from his back on a scramble in front in the third period, serving as Edmonton’s best penalty killer as the Oil Kings won their fourth in a row.

“We really relied on him a lot in the first period,” Hamilton said. “We were taking a ton of penalties and under a little bit of siege, and I thought he weathered the storm and gave us a chance to get on some solid footing.”

The Oil Kings offensive success came in close to the net Friday night, as they deflected in a pair of goals and scored another on a rebound opportunity.

“It seemed like when we did manage to get ourselves in those situations, we were fortunate to have some success. If there was one area of our game that we were inconsistent it was that we were reluctant to get those net drives, those net screens,” Hamilton said. “When we did it, we were successful, so hopefully it encourages guys to follow suit.”

The Oil Kings also added Tyson Gruninger to the line-up full time Friday and welcomed Mads Eller and Edgars Kulda back to the roster, giving them 13 available forwards for the first time since before Christmas. The Oil Kings had dressed 11 or 10 forwards in four of five games since the break.

“I thought there was a noticeable change in our depth tonight. Obviously adding Mads and Eddie back to the lineup gives you two veteran guys who really are capable in all situations,” Hamilton said. “It added basically another line, and it was good to have that feeling on the bench that we were able to keep that momentum going.”

Tyler Robertson opened the scoring for the Oil Kings, giving them a 1-0 lead after the first period by tipping a Blake Orban point shot past Regina netminder Tyler Brown, who finished with 29 saves.

The Pats evened the score 6:54 into the second period as Pavel Padakin redirected a shot past Jarry, but Edmonton got it right back as Brandon Baddock stole the puck in the offensive zone and fed Brandon Ralph, who banked it off Brown’s shoulder and into the net.

Lane Bauer gave Edmonton a two-goal cushion 72 seconds into the third period as he deflected a point shot from Ben Carroll for his 12th goal of the season. Bauer and Brett Pollock both extended their point streaks to four games on the play.

Davis Koch rounded out the scoring with his second goal in as many games as he scooped up a rebound and took a hit while sweeping it past Brown for the final Edmonton goal.

The line of Baddock, Ralph and Luke Bertolucci all finished with two points on the night for the Oil Kings

Edmonton will be back in action Saturday night as they head to Moose Jaw to take on the Warriors.

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