Edmonton, AB - Some costly errors at key points of the game resulted in a 5-1 loss for the Oil Kings to the Portland WinterHawks on Friday night at Rexall Place. The WHL Championship Series presented by Kal Tire and Husky is now tied at one game apiece with Game 3 set for Portland Sunday.
The Oil Kings started out flat as Portland tallied just 2:37 into the first with a goal from Brendan Leipsic. Edmonton out shot the Hawks 8-3 midway through the period, but the score remained 1-0. Both goaltenders made some key saves in the opening frame including a highlight reel save from Laurent Brossoit on Brad Ross to keep the Oil Kings in the game.
Despite some great back and forth hockey in the second, the Oil Kings couldn't find a way to beat Portland goalie Mac Carruth. Portland added goals from Brendan Leipsic and Sven Bartschi to make it a 3-0 game before a controversial call by the referees. It appeared Edmonton notched their first goal on a goal-mouth scramble. Video evidence of the goal was reportedly shown to the officiating crew after play had resumed so there was no goal on the play. Despite a big push from the Oil Kings, Portland made it 4 – 0 heading into the third period.
The Oil Kings would finally solve Carruth as Martin Gernat wired a shot off the post that fellow Oilers draft pick Kristians Pelss pounded home into an empty net for his fifth of the playoffs. The Winterhawks would add a late empty net goal to take Game 2 by a final score of 5-1.
The loss was the Oil Kings first loss at Rexall Place in the 2012 WHL Playoffs. Games 3 and 4 of the series are set for Portland, Oregeon. Sunday’s Game 3 is a 7:00 PM start, Edmonton time. Game 4 is scheduled for Tuesday at 8 o’clock. Be sure to 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.
GAME NIGHT PHOTOS
The paid attendance of 10,720 is 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 Monday May 7, 2012 at 10:00 a.m.
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)
Series is tied 1-1
Thursday, May 3 – Portland (2) at Edmonton (3)
Friday, May 4 – Portland (5) at Edmonton (1)
Sunday, May 6 – Edmonton at Portland – 7:00 p.m. MDT @ Rose Garden
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