The Edmonton Oil Kings entered their second preseason game this year hungry for a win after losing last night to Red Deer. And a win they got when they took care of the Prince George Cougars 4-2 Saturday afternoon at the Enmax Centium.
Goals from Aaron Irving, Brayden Gorda, Ty Gerla and Colton Kehler along with some outstanding goaltending from Alex Dillon (19 saves on 20 shots) helped the Oil Kings to the victory.
“I think there was a lot less nervousness from the guys who played the night before,” said Hamilton. “We asked them to be more accountable for their work ethics. Systems aren’t going to be a focal point at this time of year. We have had zero practices as a team together since the start of camp. I asked the guys to raise the intensity today and they did a much better job.”
The first period saw some tight battles and three goals in 90 seconds late. Irving sent a light wrist shot on net and it fooled Cougars starting netminder Ty Edmonds. Brian Harris collected the lone assist. Just 30 seconds later PG tied things up when there was a loose puck in a scrum beside Dillon. Brogan O’Brien picked it up and scored. Gorda decided to match Irving a minute later when he too fired a wrist shot at Edmonds that found its way to the back of the net. Jesse Roach and Liam Keeler had the helpers.
Gerla, who had just signed a WHL Agreement with the Oil Kings, celebrated by sniping a beautiful top corner goal midway through the second giving Edmonton a 3-1 lead. Hamilton was very pleased with the Calgary native’s game.
“It started with his first shit. I think he had three hits in his first shift and automatically he is in the game. I loved the way he drove the defenceman back and fired on in net from the angle and it was great to see him get rewarded.”
In the third the Cougars’ Cole Moberg grabbed an odd rebound off the end boards and snapped it by Liam Hughes drawing PG to within one. But that was all Edmonton would allow as Hughes stood tall stopping 14 of 15 shots and Kehler scored the empty netter sealing the deal.
The Oil Kings will head back to Rogers Place and practice this week in preparation of their first home preseason game where they entertain the Calgary Hitmen on Friday September 9 at Servus Credit Union Place in St. Albert. Game is at 7pm MT