EDMONTON, ALTA. – Brett Pollock got to play hero again for the Edmonton Oil Kings and earn a little redemption.
Pollock was stopped on a breakaway chance early in overtime, but came back to notch the shootout winner as the Oil Kings (2-2-1-0) knocked off the Moose Jaw Warriors (3-0-1-1) 4-3 Friday night in Moose Jaw to open a four-game road trip.
“We challenged ourselves to find another gear and gain some momentum, and we accomplished that in the third period,” said Oil Kings head coach Steve Hamilton, whose team outshot Moose Jaw 37-29 on the strength of a 16-7 differential in the third. “We played our best hockey in the third.”
Lane Bauer had a pair of goals for the Oil Kings and Kole Gable tallied his first of the season as Edmonton won for the second game in a row.
Bauer opened the scoring for Edmonton 11:06 into the first period as he snapped a shot from the top of the slot past Moose Jaw netminder Zach Sawchenko, but Nikita Popugaev tied it for Moose Jaw three minutes later with a power play marker.
Jayden Halbgewachs added another power play goal for the Warriors midway through the second period to put them up 2-1, but Bauer struck again with a power play marker of his own, deking through four Warriors defenders and roofing a backhand for his fifth of the season.
Moose Jaw regained the lead 2:40 into the third period as Brayden Point converted on a penalty shot on the power play to put the Warriors up 3-2 before Gable tied it with his first career WHL goal, jumping on a rolling puck in the slot and firing it past Sawchenko.
Overtime provided plenty of excitement, with both Pollock and Bauer getting breakaway opportunities, but no resolution leading to overtime.
“Three-on-three was extremely high paced, and we didn’t expect it to get to a shootout,” Hamilton said.
“(Goaltender) Alec Dillon made some very timely saves, both in overtime and throughout the game.”
Point and Colton Kehler both scored in the shootout, but Alec Dillon made a pad save on Dryden Hunt and Popugaev sent a chance over the bar to set the stage for Pollock to win it. Dysin Mayo picked up a pair of assists for the second consecutive game.
Dillon made 26 saves to earn the victory and recorded his first WHL point with an assist on Bauer’s second goal. Sawchenko made 33 stops for the Warriors.
The Oil Kings will be back in action Saturday as they head to Brandon to continue this road trip.