EDMONTON, AB – The Edmonton Oil Kings are making a habit out of getting the annual Teddy Bear Toss goal out of the way early.
After scoring only 51 seconds into the game last year, Tyler Robertson dented the twine three minutes and 11 seconds into this contest, helping the Oil Kings to a 2-1 victory over the Swift Current Broncos on Saturday night.“Gable made a really nice cross-ice pass and I had a lane to shot. I just shot and I was lucky enough that it went in”, Robertson remarked.The historic goal resulted in a record 12,655 stuffed animals raining down onto the ice, tossed by a season-high 15,022 Oil Kings fans in attendance.“We were overwhelmed with the great support of our fans as over 15,000 fans set a new Teddy Bear Toss attendance record,” said Oil Kings Director of Business Operations Kevin Radomski. ”And more importantly, supported a great charity in 630 CHED Santas Anonymous.”Oil Kings head coach Steve Hamilton was also happy to see so many fans pack the building and help provide some energy for his squad.“It was great to see that many people in the building. It’s such a great cause and it’s a really unique junior hockey thing. For some guys, it’s the first time they experienced that and there’s the obvious excitement,” noted Oil Kings head coach Steve Hamilton, adding that he was very happy to see the team continue to respond with solid play after the goal.“One of the big things we talked about was the game being more important than the goal. That was the lesson we learned the hard way a year ago. So we really emphasized the importance of the game. The goal was a start. Then there was 57 minutes after that.”And as it turned out, the historic goal by Robertson was not the most exciting or dramatic moment of the game. That came with 1:07 left to play in regulation and the game tied at 1-1.With time ticking off the clock and overtime looking like a real possibility, Oil Kings captain Brandon Baddock spotted a loose puck at the side of the net. He reached around Broncos starting goaltender Landon Bow and put the puck in to seal the victory for Edmonton.“(Aaron Irving) got a point shot on and it caught a piece of me off the start. Then it bounced off the end boards and ended up on my stick for a tap-in”, Baddock said after the game.Oil Kings defenceman Ben Carrol was crunched from behind in the corner of the Broncos zone by Conner Chaulk only 80 seconds into the game, giving the Oil Kings a chance on the power play to score that “Teddy Bear Toss” goal.That power play was all the Oil Kings needed to achieve the goal. After a couple of close calls, they converted 3:11 into the game. 91 seconds into the man advantage, Robertson corralled the puck at the left face-off circle and wired it past Broncos goaltender Landon Bow.After a 16-minute delay, the game resumed with Edmonton up 1-0 on the scoreboard and 5-0 on the shot clock.The Broncos got back on even terms with 8:40 left in the opening frame. Edmonton goaltender Patrick Dea kicked out a rebound straight to Tyler Adams who pounced quickly on the loose puck and fired it glove side.Just over a minute later, Tyson Gruninger used his wheels to chase down the puck in the neutral zone, creating a two-on-one. His shot went through the legs of Bow but the puck just sat in the crease. Robertson crashed the crease for Edmonton, dislodging the net in the process. The play went to video review where it was determined that the puck never crossed the line.Shots on goal after one period were 14-5 for the Oil Kings.Swift Current came out flying to start the second period, outshooting Edmonton 9-2 in the first 10 minutes but the best scoring chance went to the Oil Kings just past the midway point of the middle frame when Davis Koch found himself wide open in front of the Broncos net. However, Bow slid across to make a nice save and keep the game tied 1-1.After 40 minutes, shots on goal were 26-19 for the Oil Kings.Edmonton killed off two key penalties in the third period, helping to set the stage for Baddock’s game winner. Final shot count in the game was 35 to 25 for the Oil Kings.
Next up for the Oil Kings is a game against the Prince Albert Raiders on Tuesday, December 8th at Rexall Place. Game time is 7pm MT.