by Lisa McRitchie on 12/19/12 at 02:15 AM ET
It's been a good long while since the battle of Alberta held much meaning to the average hockey fan. It's been years since the Oilers would walk into the Saddledome and it was anyone's game.
Slowly, that has started to change in the NHL last season, but when it comes to the WHL this season, the Hitmen seem to have the Oil Kings' number. For their final meeting of the regular season (yes that's right, not even Christmas but these two teams are not to meet again) the Oil Kings wanted to leave their mark. A 4-1 victory over the home team may have done just that.
The Oil Kings' victory was assured with 2 shorthanded goals from Phoenix Coyotes prospect Henrik Samuelsson, and 2 power play goals from Cody Corbett and Curtis Lazar but Oilers' prospect Mitch Moroz may just be awarded a goal on the night by this time tomorrow.
This was the final game before the Oil Kings' week long Christmas break, allowing many of the young players a chance to go home for a few days, including injured Oiler prospect and Oil Kings' defenceman Martin Gernat who will travel home to Slovakia. Gernat would have played for Team Slovakia this year at the World Juniors, but as the 19 year old has missed the entire Oil Kings' season due to a shoulder surgery, playing in an international tournament was out of the question.
It also gives the team's remaining defencemen to prepare for their last stretch of games without veteran defenceman and Oilers' prospect David Musil who is playing for, and may captain the Czech Republic team.
With this victory, the team has improved their stats to 23-7-2-3, and as the defending WHL champs the Oil Kings look to sway the balance of the win loss column even further and challenge once more for the Memorial Cup.
A good long winter winning streak may be just the answer, and may even pry more hockey fans out of their homes and into WHL arenas.
As we all know though, the Calgary Saddledome is usually the home of the Calgary Flames and so despite this year's lockout, it was a joy to see a smattering of Edmonton Oilers jerseys in the stands of the Dome. It just hasn't seemed much like winter without it.
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Lisa McRitchie is a fairly new writer, online at least, but makes up for inexperience with passion for the game of hockey and memories of Mrs. Leskiw’s English AP class; who knew they would pay off one day.
Oil Patch focuses on the Edmonton Oilers, the Edmonton Oil Kings, The Oklahoma City Barons and Team Canada Hockey with game coverage, news updates, speculation and interviews.
Although the Oilers have had a difficult past decade… or three, here at Oil Patch, the future looks bright.
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