Kennewick, WA – Tri-City Americans defenceman Matt MacKenzie scored the tying goal late in the third and the game-winner 53 seconds into overtime to hand the Edmonton Oil Kings a tough 4-3 overtime loss on Wednesday at the Toyota Center.
The Oil Kings came from behind in the third period to take the lead for the third game in a row, but after holding on for 4-2 wins over Prince Albert and Seattle on Saturday and Tuesday, respectively, they couldn’t hold off the Americans, who staged a comeback of their own and eventually won in OT.
Tri-City held a 2-1 lead going into the third period on the strength of goals by Justin Feser and Adam Hughesman, as well as Michael St. Croix’s 22nd of the season for Edmonton. But the Oil Kings battled back in the final frame, as Klarc Wilson converted on a cross-crease pass from Rhett Rachinski, and Dylan Wruck scored his team-leading 30th of the season with 8:22 remaining to give the visitors a 3-2 edge.
Wruck scored the game-winning goal in the Oil Kings’ back-to-back victories heading into Wednesday, but three was not meant to be, as MacKenzie tied it up with 4:21 to go, blasting in a power-play point shot. He scored again on another ferocious slap shot on the power play 53 seconds into overtime to give the Americans the victory.
Despite surrendering four goals in the OT loss, Oil Kings netminder Jon Groenheyde had a phenomenal night between the pipes, making several highlight-reel stops and finishing with 42 saves. Also of note, Wruck’s 30th goal of the season set a new modern franchise record for goals in a single season, as he passed Brenden Dowd, who tallied 29 in 2008-09.
The Oil Kings (24-24-1-3, sixth place in the Eastern Conference) get the day off on Thursday as they prepare to continue their U.S. road trip on Friday against the Portland Winterhawks. They conclude the four-game swing versus the Everett Silvertips on Saturday, and return home on Tuesday to play the Prince George Cougars at 7 p.m. at Rexall Place.
Tickets to every Oil Kings home game are available starting at just $15 at any Ticketmaster outlet, online at oilkings.ca, or by calling 780-414-GOAL (4625).
(Photo by John Allen – Tri-City Americans)