(ISN) – EDMONTON, ALTA. – Friday nights don’t get much better than the one Lane Bauer just had.
The Edmonton Oil Kings forward scored his first career WHL hat trick as the Oil Kings (22-18-3-2) defeated the Regina Pats (26-15-2-1) for the second Friday in a row, downing the visiting Pats 6-2 at Rexall Place.
“It’s pretty exciting. The puck was finding me everywhere,” said the 18-year-old native of Anchorage, AK. “I was just going to the net and it just fell right on my stick. Two of the goals, I had a wide open net.”
Bauer picked up Edmonton’s second goal as Luke Bertolucci stole a puck in the Regina zone and fed him in the slot where he was unmarked, then banged in a pair of rebounds in the second period to bring the hats on to the Rexall ice.
“When I saw him get his hat trick, I was pretty proud of him. I thought he deserves it, for sure,” added Oil Kings forward Cole Benson.
The Oil Kings did damage from all around the front of the net and slot as they scored six goals – the most by the team since a 7-1 victory over Saskatoon on Nov. 14.
“This week’s focus was on net drive. Every three-on-two we had or odd-man rush, the middle guy has to be driving the net, and that definitely created a lot of chances, a lot of rebounds for us to put some in tonight,” Benson said.
“Guys did a really good job, first period especially of heading to the net. I thought it generated a couple goals directly off that,” said Oil Kings head coach Steve Hamilton. “We responded to what we had worked on in practice … and it was good to see the guys respond like that.”
Benson was named the second star of the game, picking up two assists on the first three goals as he played for the first time after missing 16 games with a lower-body injury.
“I had a pretty fun night. I’ll admit, it was probably the best way for me to come back,” Benson said. “I’ve been focussing on my work-outs hard. I guess I had a speed burst out there tonight, and I want to credit that to the workouts I’ve been having.”
Dysin Mayo opened the scoring for Edmonton just 4:49 in, while Brayden Brown and Luke Bertolucci also scored for Edmonton. Bertolucci also added an assist for a two-point night, while Blake Orban had a pair of helpers.
Tristan Jarry made 29 saves in the Oil Kings net to pick up his 16th win of the season, while Daniel Wapple was chased from the Regina goal after allowing five goals on 14 shots. Tyler Brown came on in relief and stopped 13 of the 14 shots he faced.
The Oil Kings will be back in action Sunday afternoon at 4 p.m. at Rexall Place as the Victoria Royals come to town. It’s another Family Fun SUNday presented by the Edmonton Sun, Global Edmonton and Motts Fruitsations. That means a kids carnival with bouncy castles, face painting and more, and a full team autograph session after the game.