Friday, 13 December 2013

Oil Kings Defeat Lethbridge Hurricanes 7-3

EDMONTON - A four goal first period powered the Edmonton Oil Kings to a 6-2 victory over the Lethbridge Hurricanes Friday night at Rexall Place.

Certainly not the start the Hurricanes were hoping for on the road. Before the game was even 5 minutes old, the Canes found themselves down 2-0. Just 1:18 into the game, Brett Pollock scored on Edmonton's 1st shot of the game beating Corbin Boes to make it 1-0 Oil Kings. Three minutes later, Edmonton would strike again, this time on the power play when Lane Bauer hammered a shot by Boes making it 2-0 Oil Kings. That was two goals on 4 shots for Edmonton. They had also hit the post twice in the first 5 minutes of the period.  The Canes got one of those back when Jamal Watson burst into the Edmonton zone on a breakaway and scored his 10th of the season over Tristan Jarry. That cut the Emonton lead to 2-1. The Oil Kings would keep the offence coming with yet another goal on the man advantage. Mitch Moroz this time found the back of the net making 3-1 Edmonton and then two minutes later the home team would light the red lamp again with goal from Henrik Samuelsson who was left alone untouched in front of Corbin Boes and he made no mistake giving Edmonton a 4-1 lead. Lethbridge would get one more before the buzzer sounded, when Griffin Foulk floated a point shot by a screened Jarry for his 3rd of the season and the cut the Edmonton lead to 4-2 after 20 minutes. The shots favoured Edmonton 20-10.

In the second, the Canes would start the period with a goaltending change. Teagan Sacher would replace Corbin Boes between the pipes and he would be perfect, stopping all 12 shots in faced in the period. The Canes had a couple of decent chances too, but unlike the first period when the teams combined for a total of six goals, there was zero offence in the the second. Edmonton still had the edge in shots on goal 32-18.

In the third, the Oil Kings would score early in the period on yet another power play. Henrik Samuelsson scored his 2nd goal of the night on a nice passing play to give Edmonton a 5-2 lead and then shortly after that the Oil Kings would go to the power play again and they would score their 4th power play goal of the game. Cody Corbett's point shot would find its way through to the back of the net to give Edmonton a commanding 6-2 lead. Before the end of the game the Canes would score again when Reid Duke scored his 5th goal of the season to make it a 6-3 game in favour of Edmonton, but just over a minute later, Edmonton's Henrik Samuelsson would score his third goal of the hockey game to pad the stats for the Phoenix Coyotes first round draft pick and that would give the Oil Kings a 7-3 victory. Edmonton out shot Lethbridge 43-29 in the game. The Oil Kings power play was deadly going 4/6 while the Canes went 1/3. The loss drops the Hurricanes overall record 5-26-2-2 in 35 games this season. The Canes will officially hit the halfway point in this WHL season Saturday night in Red Deer.

Practicing Prospects

The Lethbridge Hurricanes had a few of their prospects skate with them in Edmonton Friday morning. Goalie Stuart Skinner (1st round selection) and defenceman Connor Rokosh (4th round selection), were Hurricanes picks in the 2013 WHL Bantam Draft. Both players were out at Rexall Place. Skinner was picked 17th overall by the Canes and has been playing with the South Side Athletic Club in Edmonton. Rokosh was selected 74th overall in the same draft also plays with SSAA. The Hurricanes also brought along a player from Red Deer who they recently listed. Andrew Nielsen is a defenceman with the Red Deer Optimist Chiefs and is just over 6 feet tall and 200 pounds. All three players skated with the Canes at Rexall Place.

Next Up

The Hurricanes next action will be in Red Deer Saturday (Dec. 14) as they take on the Rebels for the 4th time this season. Red Deer leads the season series 2-1, but the Hurricanes won the last meeting 6-0 in Lethbridge earlier this week in what turned out to be a very chippy and penalty-filled affair. Game time from Red Deer is 7:00 pm MST. The pre-game show on CJOC at 6:30. The Hurricanes return home Sunday for an early afternoon game against Victoria at 2:00 pm.



  1. With considerable bright spots lately, it might be nice to write this one off as a bad night for the Canes tenders, but maybe with the exception of Samuelsson's third goal (Edmonton's last), which was a fairly weak backhand, it was still well placed in the lower corner. Neither Boes nor Sacher had much chance of saving any of those excellent seven shots.

    Instead, it was a night of matador defence that cost the team too many glorious chances and Edmonton's skilled forwards cashed in on many of them.

    The clears off the glass that the Canes have become famous for this year among other WHL clubs were (once again) only a means for the opponents d-men to obtain the puck for another scoring chance, or resulted in a face off in the Cane zone for icing. The coaches need to make some drastic improvements in their passing and "breakout plan," as they are both extremely poor.

    The Canes collectively need much more of Brian Burke's truculence if they are going to have a chance against their larger and more skilled opponents.

    It was the worst defensive effort of the year for several of the Canes forwards, and for a couple of big minute Cane defensemen. Unlike our opponents, they are too easy to play against as there is little to no physical cost to access the slot. The Oil Kings skated through the slot with the puck several times in this game with little more than Harry Potter's wand being waved at them. The Canes need to level guys every time the opponent skates between the circles with the puck, NOT wave their sticks at them hoping to make contact with the puck.

    Canes took a step backwards with respect to discipline in this one, and it cost them ... four times. A few selfish and pointless penalties cost them momentum &/or goals in all three periods.

    Worst of all, it looks like the most truculent Cane, Carter Folk, may have sustained a significant injury early in this game. He has been one of the few Canes that have consistently played with clean and punishing physicality. If he is out, the Canes just became even easier to play against.

    They know that the Rebels are going to be out for some serious payback tonight in Red Deer. Despite his absence, the sulking sutter will make sure the players are clear that there will not be a repeat of the recent 6-0 loss they were handed in Lethbridge.

    Oh yeah, Bartosak is back, and coming off a 35-save shutout against the Ice.

    The Canes somehow have to weather the early storm of their opponent and cash in on their own rare opportunities like they did in Lethbridge, or they will find themselves several goals behind after the first twenty.

    As the fourth game in five nights with another to come tomorrow, can the Canes find the mental and physical strength to be successful?

  2. Sacher kind of lost his positioning on Samuelsson's third goal (Edmonton's last). He thought he was covering that post but he left a huge hole. You could see by his reaction that he knew it as the goal went in. I can’t say either goalie cost us this game though.
    You said “The coaches need to make some drastic improvements in their passing and "breakout plan," as they are both extremely poor”. The Canes ability to transition from defending in our zone to going on offense is horrible at best. Off the glass and hope and pray is their strategy.
    I agree that it was the worst defensive effort of the year for at least one of our big minute munching Cane defensemen. The Oil Kings skated through, or were left standing alone, in the slot with virtual impunity.
    When I watch the game live it happens so fast I don’t see a lot of the small things and such so I am not able to really comment on a lot of things. Getting to PVR last night’s game and re-watch and slow-mo some stuff made me realize how absolutely terrible we are in our own end. The kids have no confidence whatsoever and simply do not know what to do in their own end.
    At live games I kept blaming it on them running around all over the place etc. as I am not a hockey coach so I don`t see the small details. What I noticed in last night`s game is the kids seem so concerned with being in the right position in the defensive zone all the time that there is no real puck pursuit. The Oil Kings made it look like they were on the PP for most of the night. They can pass it around at will do whatever they want in our end.
    Not to belittle any single player, but last night one of the newly acquired D-man minute muncher had an awful game. On the Oil Kings first goal he let the winger blow right by him and did not impede his way to the net at all. On another goal he tried to make a huge hit at the blue line and got nothing but air so the Oil Kings scored an easy one. On another goal it was a 2 on 2 rush and he decides to try and dive on the ice and sweep the puck away. He misses and another goal. This D-man seemed Ok in his first few games with the Canes but ouch, last night was bad. I don`t blame him because I am sure he is just trying too hard and trying to do too much to help this team. With our overall poor play in the D-zone, what can a D-man really do sometimes but try to do it all.
    You asked “As the fourth game in five nights with another to come tomorrow, can the Canes find the mental and physical strength to be successful?” Just want to comment on the ridiculous schedule the Canes have this month. This kind of schedule can cause injuries to these kids due to mental and physical fatigue. The league needs to make sure this 5 games in 6 days, or actually in only 5 and ½ days as Pat S said, never happens again. They play tomorrow at @ 2:00 after probably getting to sleep about 3:00 AM late tonight. I believe it is also a ridiculous 6 games in 8 days, with lots of travel in between. Just brutal.
    Ok enough of that….On to some positive stuff.
    It is really nice to see Duke playing like an early first round pick. He is a much better player than he showed early on this year. He seems to have found his groove.
    Wong is the team MVP so far.
    Which NHL GM is going to be smart enough to pick Watson in say the 3rd round of the NHL draft. Man can that kid fly and this year he has a much better finishing touch than he did last year.
    There is no quit in these kids. They put in the same effort from the first minute to the last, never mind what the score is.
    I hope for the player`s sake this team turns things around in the New Year. They deserve a far better result than they have had so far.


  3. Interesting that tonight's starting forwards are who I think were the best 3 Canes players on the ice last night. According to Pat these are the starting forwards. F- Duke, F- Watson, F- Wong. I am not a fan of mixing lines up all the time, but hey, these are your best 3 forwards in the previous game.....LET EM START THE GAME! I mean what have we got to lose?