RED DEER, ALTA. – The Edmonton Oil Kings had plenty of chances and plenty of powerplays but could not get the offence going dropping a 6-1 decision to the Red Deer Rebels in their first preseason game of the 2016-17 season Friday night.
Edmonton registered 34 shots on net but ended up blanking on the six powerplays they were given and were unable to sustain much pressure in the offensive zone.
The Rebels’ Brandon Hagel opened the scoring 4:18 into the game before the Oil Kings Branden Klatt went five-hole to even things up. Klatt’s goal was assisted by Davis Koch. That was all the scoring Edmonton would get as the Rebels Riley Lamb and Rylan Toth stopped a combined 33 shots in the win.
Boston Bilous, the Oil Kings 4th round draft pick in 2016, got the start and made 12 saves on 15 shots. Carter Phair came in midway through the game and faced 14 shots making 11 saves.
The Oil Kings had ten regular veterans out of the lineup tonight choosing to let some of the new rookies experience a taste of WHL hockey.
Wyatt McLeod, Artyom Baltruk, Liam Keeler, Nick Bowman, Davis Murray, Scott Atkinson, Matthew Robertson and Boston Bilous all played in their first WHL preseason game.
Edmonton will have a quick turnaround as they face the Prince George Cougars tomorrowafternoon at 3pm at the Enmax Centrium.