Edmonton, AB – Henrik Samuelsson led the way with his first career WHL hat trick as the Oil Kings cruised to a 6-2 victory over the Wheat Kings on New Year’s Eve. With the win the Oil Kings raised their record to 25-8-2-3 on the season with a 16-4-1-2 record within the friendly confines of Rexall Place. Edmonton’s win combined with a Calgary loss means the Oil Kings currently have a three point cushion atop the WHL Eastern Conference standings.
Power forward Mitch Moroz opened scoring midway through the first period just as the Oil Kings first power play of the night came to an end. Stephane Legault found Moroz in the slot and the Oilers draft pick wired a spinning wrist shot high for his seventh of the season. Just over a minute later and Samuelsson notched his first of the night to make it a 2-0 Edmonton lead. The Phoenix Coyotes prospect carried the puck down the right wall and beat Brandon goaltender Corbin Boes with a low wrist shot to the far corner of the net.
Brandon would answer with a 2-1 goal off a scramble in the Oil Kings zone late in the first. Oil Kings goaltender Laurent Brossoit made two spectacular saves before the Wheaties Tim McGauley tallied on the third rebound to cut into the Oil Kings lead. Brossoit would finish his night with 21 saves to raise his record to 16-4-2-3.
Lowe, the Oil Kings acting Captain, took advantage of a Brandon turnover and ripped a point shot to re-establish the two goal spread three minutes into the second frame. Samuelsson then added his second of the night from in tight to make it a 4-1 game. The Oil Kings penalty kill worked overtime to kill off a pair of 5 on 3 situations in the second half of the period. The number one ranked penalty kill in the WHL was a perfect 6 for 6 on the night.
The home side continued to pour it on five minutes into the final period as Lowe sniped his second from the top of the face off circle. Samuelsson would follow suit on the Kings sixth power play as he notched his hat trick in highlight reel fashion. The native of Scottsdale, Arizona made an aggressive move off the half wall and sniped a top corner shot for his team leading 22nd goal of the season. The two power play goals came off the Oil Kings three third period opportunities as they ended their night 2 for 6 with the man advantage. Brandon would eventually add another goal late in the third to make it a 6-2 final.
The Oil Kings will be back in action this Thursday as they take on the Lethbridge Hurricanes. Game time from the ENMAX Centre in Lethbridge, Alberta is set for 7:00 p.m. All games this season will be broadcast live on the TEAM 1260 and streamed live at WHL.ca.
The defending WHL Champions will then make their return to Rexall Place on Saturday, January 5th. Puck drop is set for 7:00 p.m. and tickets are available at OILKINGS.CA, at the Rexall Place Box Office or at Ticketmaster outlets. For more information on season seats or flex packs, call 780-414-GOAL (4625). The Oil Kings 2012-13 season is presented by JLT, Insurance & Risk Management.