Balanced Attack Leads to Blowout of Blades

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(ISN) – EDMONTON, ALTA. – The Edmonton Oil Kings scored a season-high eight goals Tuesday night on the way to an 8-1 win over the Saskatoon Blades

Eight different Oil Kings scored, and eight different players had multi-point games as Edmonton (32-29-4-3) drubbed the Blades.

“When you get a large group of guys scoring and producing, it looks good, and we need that right now,” said Oil Kings captain Ashton Sautner. “With the playoffs coming, if we’re going to make a run again, we need everyone going.”

“It’s nice to get that kind of offensive output,” added Oil Kings head coach Steve Hamilton. “In all honesty, we haven’t had very many games where we haven’t had to sweat it out to the last minute, so it was one of those games where we were able to get some separation.”

The Oil Kings blew the game open early in the second as Nikita Soshnin was assessed a double minor on a boarding penalty on Brett Pollock, and Amil Krupic took a slashing minor 46 seconds later. Already with a 2-0 lead, Edgars Kulda and Davis Koch scored 21 seconds apart on the back-to-back five-on-threes, and the Oil Kings never looked back.

“The five-on-threes in the second period were really a difference maker,” Hamilton said. “Our power play has been much better over the last 15-20 games. We don’t make a lot of changes, just some subtle little adjustments. … When we rebound, retrieve pucks and keep them alive, that’s when penalty killers get worn down.”

Kulda finished with a goal and two assists on the game, as did rookie forward Andrew Koep. Tyson Gruninger, Brandon Baddock, Koch, Lane Bauer and Dysin Mayo all had one goal and one assist, while Sautner had a pair of assists. Brayden Brown also scored for Edmonton.

Tristan Jarry made 31 saves to get the win for Edmonton.

Brock Hamm made 38 stops for the Blades in net, while Ryan Graham scored the lone Saskatoon goal.

The win, coupled with Moose Jaw’s loss to Brandon, leaves the Oil Kings eight points up on the Warriors for the Eastern Conference’s final playoff spot and two points away from clinching at least a play-in game. Edmonton also kept pace with the Kootenay Ice with the win, remaining one point back of Kootenay, though the Ice have one game in hand.

“This was a critical game,” Hamilton said. “We’re in the sprint to the end, and these are opportunities to gain points. Moose Jaw’s been doing their part—they’ve been winning—so it was good to get the two-point swing.”

Edmonton is back in action Friday night as they travel to Lethbridge to take on the Hurricanes.

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