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Edmonton Oil Kings Start Season Off With Win

The reigning Memorial Cup champions, the Edmonton Oil Kings packed the house at Rexall Place with a record breaking 11,024 in attendance, the most ever recorded for a home opener. Led by a handful of veterans, and a new WHL head coach the Oil Kings opened their 2014-15 season with a 4-2 victory over the visiting Kootenay Ice.

For the first year, in a long time, the Edmonton Oilers do not have a prospect on the Oil King’s roster, in fact, with the exception of 2014 third overall pick, Leon Draisaitl, the oilers did not take any WHL players. This could have an interesting impact on the Oil Kings attendance draw. Or not.

“We went young tonight, that was kind of the theme of the lineup” proclaimed head coach Steve Hamilton, beaming over his team’s win. This wasn’t his first WHL victory however, as he did stand in twice for former head coach Derek Laxdal in the past. Still, the advancement from assistant to head coach is a big enough change, and enough to make this victory truly his first as a WHL head coach, with the team that he has coached through training camp, pre-season and now their WHL home opener. This is no longer Laxdal’s team, this is the team that Hamilton taught.

“It was, it was wonderful when the lights go out and everything lights up, the red sticks. I had a chance to kind of glance around the building and you could really see, it was full right to the top on that side and it was, that’s such a neat thing, it’s underappreciated until it happens like that. When you play in front of a building that has that much energy and enthusiasm, [it] can’t help but be infectious. I love the reponse from the city, I wouldn’t have expected anything else, it’s just what they’ve done all along is embrace this team over the past few years, so it was a fitting tribute."

WHL hockey may not be the city's favourite league, but it is still Edmonton's winning team. Fan support does make a difference and can be influential on a team. With Edmonton Oiler prospects Mitch Moroz and Martin Gernat currently trying to make the Oilers' team after sucessful careers with the Oil KIngs, it only speaks to the quality of hockey in the Edmonton junior hockey program, showing that there are players worth watching, players worth getting excited about. 

Filed in: Edmonton Hockey, Edmonton Oilers, WHL, Edmonton Oil Kings, | Oil Patch | Permalink
  Tags: edmonton+oil+kings, memorial+cup, whl


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About Oil Patch

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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