'Kreuz missile buries Brandon

JASON HILLS, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:39 AM ET

The Edmonton Oil Kings have been sending mixed messages on home ice this season, and recent performances at Rexall Place haven't sat well with the coaches and players.

After a thrilling 6-5 overtime win over the Brandon Wheat Kings yesterday afternoon in front of 3,431 fans, a new message was clearly sent.

They won't be messed with.

STOOD UP

"We battled. Guys stood up for each other, we had some great hits and we were physical. We found a way to win," said Oil Kings head coach Steve Pleau.

"We came to battle. We have to show teams that come in here that this is our ice, and we have to play that way."

Brett Breitkreuz played the role of overtime hero, sending a laser over the shoulder of Wheat Kings goaltender Andrew Hayes just 98 seconds into the extra period.

It was a big night for Breitkreuz, who scored the Oil Kings first goal and also added an assist.

Hayes delayed Breitkreuz's chance of being the hero earlier in overtime when he absolutely stoned the 19-year-old in the slot with a pad save.

"He went down low (on the first shot), and I figured I'd challenge a little more on the second one," said Breitkreuz, who now leads the Oil Kings with seven goals and is tied for the team lead at 13 points with co-captain Jeff Lee.

The Oil Kings had been pretty quiet so far this season in terms of fighting majors, having only two fights through the first 10 games.

But there has been a history of some bad blood between the Oil Kings and Brandon dating back to a game early last season when they had a series of line brawls that resulted in 175 penalty minutes.

Both teams combined for five fighting majors yesterday.

"I definitely think the scraps (were the difference). (Jesse) Pearson hung in there with (Matt) McCue, who's a big boy (six-foot-five, 218 lbs.) and (Clayton) Cumiskey, his fight was the turning point in the game," said Breitkreuz.

Oil Kings defenceman Drew Nichol squared off with Jordan Hale. Shayne Neigum went toe-to-toe with Wheat Kings forward Nathan Green.

Pearson was jumped by McCue, who is three years older, six inches taller and 56 pounds heavier, but Pearson held his own.

Oil Kings rookie import Robin Soudek dropped the gloves with Cale Jeffries in a spirited bout, and Cumiskey destroyed rookie defenceman Ryley Miller with a one-punch knockout that really turned the tide of the game in Edmonton's favour.

TIMELY STOPS

On top of the Oil Kings sending a message with their fists, goaltender Dalyn Flette (3-5-1) made many timely stops - including one in overtime off Brandon's Matt Lowry that was a game-saver.

"He (Flette) made some key saves. It wasn't that he made the big saves, he made the saves he needed to keep us in the game," Pleau said of his goalie's 28 stops.

"He played well and he stuck with it, and it allowed us to get back in the game."

The Oil Kings power play has also been sputtering along to begin the season, but it finally came to life with goals, including Breitkreuz's game-winner.

"We executed real well on that drive (in overtime)," said Pleau. "Our power play, it's not the way you draw it up, but that's sometimes how you can get confidence is going to the net."

Brenden Dowd, Craig McCallum, Brent Raedeke and Tomas Vincour rounded out the scoring for Edmonton, while Jay Fehr led the Wheat Kings with four points, including two goals.

Aaron Lewadniuk potted two, and Nathan Green rounded out the scoring for Brandon.

Hayes, who hails from Sherwood Park (3-2-1) made 22 saves for the Wheat Kings.


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