(ISN) – EDMONTON, ALTA. – It doesn’t get much tighter than the way the Edmonton Oil Kings finished the 2014-15 season.
The Oil Kings lost a 3-2 score to the Brandon Wheat Kings for the third game in a row, this time on a John Quenneville goal 8:58 into double overtime, giving his
side a 4-1 series victory.
“Very proud of (the players). Very proud of them for the entire year. That was a heartbreaking way to end the season, but we did a lot of good things. There was a lot of growth in our group this year,” said Oil Kings head coach. “That’s a very good hockey team we played. They’ve got a legitimate chance to win a championship this year, and I think we did our part to make this a series.”
The loss marked the final WHL games for Oil Kings overage players Edgars Kulda, Blake Orban and captain Ashton Sautner.
“I thought all of our (20-year-olds) really put it out there tonight,” Hamilton said. “Leadership is best exemplified, and I thought that was what those guys did today. They really played hard. You could tell it was a meaningful game; they didn’t want to take the jersey off for the last time. … That graduating class has had a lot of success with our organization.”
Tim McGauley scored on the power play in the first period to give Brandon an early lead, but Brett Pollock and Ben Carroll scored in the second period to put Edmonton up. Eric Roy forced overtime 5:01 into the third period with his second of the series.
Jordan Papirny made 44 saves for the Wheat Kings, while Tristan Jarry stopped 24 in what was likely his final game as an Oil King.
Edmonton had their chances to win it, particularly on two long five-on-threes in regulation time, but finished just 1-6 on the power play.
“We didn’t close around the net. The power play let us down,” Hamilton said. “We were probably a little outgunned firepower-wise. I was proud of the way we defended. We really had a plan for the series; I think we executed that plan. We needed a couple more fortunate bounces, we needed to generate a couple more opportunities and we’re having a different conversation right now.”