Oil Kings Comeback Falls Short
Portland, OR - Despite three goals in the final period the Edmonton Oil Kings were defeated 4-3 in Game 3 of the WHL Championship Series presented by Kal Tire and Husky. Martin Gernat led the way for Edmonton with a goal and an assist while Michael St. Croix chipped in a pair of helpers for a two point night. With the loss the Oil Kings now trail the Winterhawks 2-1 in the best of seven WHL Championship series.
Like a classic heavyweight tilt both Edmonton and Portland exchanged chances in the first. Both teams showed off their skill and speed but solid goaltending from the Oil Kings Laurent Brossoit and the WinterHawks Mac Carruth kept the games scoreless. Edmonton was able to kill off a large part of a 4 minute power play after Henrik Samuelsson received a double minor for high sticking. The power play was later nullified off a scrum which resulted in a pair of fights between Keegan Lowe and Joe Morrow and Jordan Peddle and Brad Ross. Peddle and Ross would then be ejected.
Tough start to the second as Martin Gernat lost an edge resulting in a miscue as Sven Bartschi opened the scoring. Later in the period the Hawks would add a pair of power play breakaway goals just 29 seconds apart to make it a 3-0 game. Edmonton struggled to push back but would finish the period on the power play.
The penalty would carry over to the third where Edmonton would answer quickly. Gernat would drive the puck down the left side of the ice and make a nice play to Samuelsson across the slot for his third of the playoffs to make it a 3-1 game. Another tough turnover in the Oil Kings end resulted in a WinterHawks goal to make it a 4-1 deficit with just over 15 minutes to play.
But the Oil Kings would not be an easy out as they began to mount an improbable comeback. Gernat took a feed from Michael St.Croix and ripped home his seventh of the playoffs to make it a 4-2 game. Less than 3 minutes later
Keegan Lowe created some space on the rush and snapped home a top shelf wrister that beat Carruth far side to make it a 4-3 game. A controversial check during the goal celebration from Portland Captain William Wrenn resulted in Mitch Moroz being taken from the ice. The game remained 5 on 5 for a furious final few minutes including a 6-5 situation with Brossoit pulled from the net. The Oil Kings out shot the Hawks 23-7 in the final period but could not find an equalizer. Brossoit for his part made 29 saves in the loss.
Edmonton will now have a day between games to regroup with Game 4 of the WHL Championship series set for Tuesday night in Portland. Game time is set for 8:00 PM MDT and fans can tune into all the action on Team 1260, Edmonton’s Sports Radio. The entire WHL Championship will be broadcast in high definition on SHAW TV.
The Oil Kings last home playoff game had a paid attendance of 10,720 - the largest playoff crowd in Oil Kings franchise history. As a thank you to fans for their continued support throughout the entire season, ATB Financial and the Oil Kings will offer 10,000 tickets for both Games 5 and *Game 7 of this series versus the Portland WinterHawks for just $20. Tickets for both future games will go on sale TOMORROW at 10:00 AM!
Game 5 of the series is scheduled for Thursday May 10th, 7:00 p.m. Game 7, if necessary, will be played Sunday May 13th, 7:00 p.m. at Rexall Place.Tickets will be available at oilkings.ca, at the Oil Kings Ticket office at TELUS Field (10233-96 Avenue) during regular business hours Monday through Friday, by calling (780) 414-GOAL (4625) or at the door.
Now is the best time to become an Oil Kings Season Seat Holder for 2012-13. Secure your seat for next year with a $100 deposit per seat and receive tickets for the first round of the 2013 WHL Playoffs for FREE. For season tickets, contact the Oil Kings Ticket Office at (780) 414-GOAL (4625).
WHL CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES SCHEDULE (All Times MDT)
Portland leads the series 2-1
Thursday, May 3 – Portland (2) at Edmonton (3)
Friday, May 4 – Portland (5) at Edmonton (1)
Sunday, May 6 – Edmonton (3) at Portland (4)
Tuesday, May 8 – Edmonton at Portland – 8:00 p.m. MDT @ Rose Garden
Thursday, May 10 – Portland at Edmonton – 7:00 p.m. MDT @ Rexall Place
*Saturday, May 12 – Edmonton at Portland - 7:00 p.m. MDT @ Rose Garden
*Sunday, May 13 – Portland at Edmonton – 6:00 p.m. MDT @ Rexall Place