The Edmonton Oil Kings 3rd Annual Pre-season Invitational Tournament, presented by Elite Sportswear and Awards, wrapped up tonight with the Oil Kings up against the Medicine Hat Tigers.
The Oil Kings held the territorial advantage early on, but could not generate any good scoring chances. Edmonton gets the first man advantage, but it’s the Tigers who pounce. Trent Ouellette sets up Emerson Etem on a nice cross crease feed, for the short hander. The Oil Kings compile the problem by taking two minor penalties in a matter of thirty seconds. While shorthanded, goalie Cam Lanigan keeps it a one goal game with some good saves, including a great stop on a partial break away by the Tigers Curtis Valk. Back at five on five, the Oil Kings apply more pressure, but Tiger tender Kyle Birch is sharp, when called upon. A late power play proves fruitful for the Oil Kings. Keegan Lowe steps up from the point and finds Dylan Wruck at the far dot. He one times it home, the period ends 1 – 1.
The Tigers take the lead back, early in the second, on an odd man rush. Mike Forsyth slips a nice pass to Mitch Deacon, who beats Lanigan with a nifty move in tight, to make it 2 – 1. A couple minutes later, the Oil Kings power play strikes to tie it. Griffin Reinhart’s point shot bounces off a Tiger defender, and flutters over Birch. We are tied at 2. The 15 year old defenseman has shown maturity beyond his years in his first Main Camp and Pre-season with the team.
“I am back to West Vancouver to play with the Northwest Giants,” says the Oil Kings first round pick from 2009. “I hope to get a chance to play with the Oil Kings when they visit Vancouver or Chilliwack. I learned a lot playing against the bigger guys and now realize how much faster you have to make your decisions. It was a great experience”
The Tigers respond with a man up goal of their own. Cody Carlson rips a pass from the high slot, to the far post, where Kale Kessey tips it in to restore the one goal tiger lead. The second period ends 3 – 2.
The Oil Kings fire it up for the third and score two goals right off the hop. Rhett Rachinski wheeled in off the left wing to score the first, and 11 seconds later Cam Maclise gave the Oil Kings their first lead of the game, at 4 – 3. Edmonton’s Clayton Cumiskey closes out the scoring, by burying his own second chance opportunity. The Oil Kings down the Tigers 5 – 3, and win all three Pre-season Tournament games.
Assistant Coach Rocky Thompson ran the bench while Head Coach Steve Pleau evaluated the team from the stands. Thompson liked the fire the team showed in the third period.
“The guys came out and worked consistently in the third with some energy,” says Thompson. “Our goalies (Lanigan & Brossoit) kept us in it and our guys realized they had a great opportunity to win.”
The Oil Kings Exhibition Schedule continues, on the road, next weekend. Edmonton will travel to Stettler to take on the Red Deer Rebels, Friday September 4th. The two teams will meet again the very next night in the Battle in Oil Country, presented by Enmax, in Leduc, Saturday September 5th. For a look at the full Exhibition and Regular Season Schedules, go to oilkings.ca.
Game 3 – Edmonton Oil Kings 5, Medicine Hat Tigers 3
1. MH - Etem (Ouellette) SH, 7:59
2. EDM – Wruck (Lowe, Thiessen) PP, 17:26
Shots on Goal: EDM 11/ MH 10
3. MH – Deacon (Forsyth, Ball) ES, 4:10
4. EDM – Reinhart (Wruck, Thiessen) PP, 6:38
5. MH – Kessey (Carlson, Valk) PP, 11:15
Two Period Shot Totals: EDM 25/ MH 21
6. EDM – Rachinski (Soudek) ES, 1:26
7. EDM – Maclise (St. Croix) ES, 1:37
8. EDM – Cumiskey (Pearson) ES, 16:27
Final Shot Totals: EDM 39/ MH 32
EDM – Lanigan 12/14, Broissoit 17/18
MH – Birch 34/39
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I wouldn't be surprised to see the tigers cut a few guys tomorrow after evaluating the weekend. The tigers dressed an extremely unexperienced and rookie lineup during the weekend. This tournament was basically meant to evaluate the young players, and give those 15 yr olds a taste of the whl.