by Lisa McRitchie on 05/14/12 at 12:45 AM ET
It was a long road and a hard fought battle, but with their 4-1 victory over the Portland Winterhawks in front of 12514 fans, the Edmonton Oil Kings have earned their first modern franchise trip to the Memorial Cup.
In this year’s Memorial Cup the WHL champions, the Oil Kings will face off against the QMJHL champions the Saint John Sea Dogs , the OHL champs the London Knights and the host team the Shawnigan Cataractes of the QMJHL.
Newly signed Kristians Pelss was the lone Oiler prospect to make the score sheet with his two assists, but this was also a two point night for Michael St. Croix whose goal was insurance and who assisted on the game winning goal. Otherwise, the Oil Kings continue to show that anyone can produce and anyone can score with goals from Rhett Rachinski, Tyler Maxwell and TJ Foster.
The Oil Kings best weapon going into this tournament however, might be their goaltending. Laurent Brossoit has played all 20 of the Oil Kings’ playoff games posting a save percentage of 0.933% and GAA of 2.04. It’s too bad for Edmonton hockey fans that Brossoit is a prospect of the Calgary Flames.
The Saint John Sea Dogs have taken the QMJHL for the second year in a row and look to be the favourite going into this tournament, but no matter how far the Oil Kings go, this season has been a success. Of course the team and their fans are hoping for the first Memorial Cup victory in 46 years, and perhaps a repeat next season.
This victory of course came on Mother’s Day, and what a gift for the mothers of these junior players. The mothers have lost countless hours of sleep driving their boys to games and practices. They have worried about their sons after big hits and celebrated with them after big goals. Many of them had to watch their sons leave home to play in the WHL and live with billets, but all mothers of the Oil Kings are very proud of their sons tonight.
Good luck to you boys, you earned this trip to the Cup and it’s certainly about time that Edmonton, the City of Champions was the champion of something.
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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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