Despite coming from behind twice on goals by Lane Bauer, Aaron Irving and Brandon Baddock, the Edmonton Oil Kings got off their game plan for a bit and into penalty trouble, which ultimately cost them dropping a 4-3 OT decision to the Calgary Hitmen.
Payton Lee, who replaced Patrick Dea with six minutes left in the first, took the loss on an unfortunate mishap 1:02 into the extra frame. Lee had the puck in his glove and went to drop it to the side of the net for Dysin Mayo, but it accidentally fell back into his own net barely crossing the goal line.
“That was just a mistake, “said Oil Kings Head Coach Steve Hamilton. “Mistakes happen all the time. People spill a cup of coffee at work everyday. Nobody says anything. He spilled a cup of coffee there at the end…mistakes happen and they happen to everybody.”
The first period was full of action and a nonstop parade to the penalty box as the two teams combined for 28 penalty minutes, including a Baddock and Keegan Kanzig fight. Kanzig also scored a couple power play goals and Bauer supplied Edmonton’s lone goal.
Irving knotted things up six minutes into the middle frame when he banked one in off Nik Amundrud’s pads from behind the net. The feistiness continued as both teams combined for 32 minutes in penalties.
Jordy Stallard would put the Hitmen up 3-2 when he shelfed a rebound over Lee, who had robbed Carsen Twarynski seconds earlier. But not to be outdone, Edmonton’s captain had a beautiful top corner wrist shot go in past Amundrud with 8:25 left in the game. Baddock’s 17th was set up by Irving and Mayo.
The Oil Kings were reeling when they won the last four games at Rexall Place outshooting teams by a staggering total of 67 while mostly staying out of the box. But they were behind the eight ball early taking 31 minutes in penalties in the first two periods causing them to be outshot 22-18. Hamilton recognized that, but was encouraged by his team’s resilience.
“We kept going. We were outshot pretty drastically in the first period. To be able to get it back to where we carried some of the play at times…our young guys continued to get better and we continue to be competitive against these top teams. That’s a point. It’s a point more than we started the night with.”
The Oil Kings will once again have a top team come to visit at Rexall Place when they take on the Prince Albert Raiders Wednesday, January 13. Game time is at 7:00 pm.
The 2015-16 Edmonton Oil Kings season is presented by Insight Insurance and Risk Management.