by Lisa McRitchie on 05/19/12 at 03:30 AM ET
The Edmonton Oil Kings may be happy just to be participating in the Memorial Cup, but the team is going to push for every win they can get.
In the opening game of the tournament Friday night, the Oil Kings blew a 2 goal lead, but eventually squeaked past the home team Shawinigan Cataractes with a final score of 4-3. Not bad considering Shawinigan is not as battle weary as the Oil Kings. While the Oil Kings had only a few days to bounce back from their 7 game series against the Portland Winterhawks, the Cataractes have not played a playoff game since losing to the Chicoutimii Saguenéens a month ago.
While this game was just the first of the tournament, if it is the pace setter, hockey fans will have a lot to look forward to because this game had it all.
The compete level was fierce with back and forth goals, there was a second period fight and even a controversial goal for the Cataractes. According to post game information the goal judge determined that the puck had crossed the line before the whistle was blown and the referees coming together to discuss the goal didn’t change matters. Oil King’s head coach Derek Laxdal may have been bothered by the final call, but was far more concerned with the game’s final score.
Oiler prospects Martin Gernat and Kristians Pelss found their way onto the score sheet with a goal each and 2012 draft eligible defenceman Griffin Reinhart had a two point night himself. Reinhart scored the games’ third goal unassisted and was one of the set-up men on rookie Henrik Samuelsson’s game winning goal.
While many of the scouting lists will not change much, the performance of the Oil Kings through the Memorial Cup may have some impact on the future of several Oil Kings, those who are looking forward to the draft, and those who are undrafted but wish to have a professional hockey career.
Post game interviews and address from coach Laxdal are available on the Oil Kings’ website.
The Oil Kings will now have two days off, and will face the QMJHL winning Saint John Sea Dogs Monday night and the OHL victors, the London Knights on Tuesday.
According to the Oil Kings’ website “Edmonton hockey fans are invited to join the Official Memorial Cup Headquarters of the Oil Kings at at Earls Clareview. (13330-50 St.) The restaurant will be showing all Oil Kings game at the MasterCard Memorial Cup. Fans will have a chance to win some great prizes and receive some terrific menu specials just for wearing their Oil Kings colours and supporting their team.”
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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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