Hats are finally off

CRASH CAMERON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:41 AM ET

It can't compare, of course, to a world title.

But the Edmonton Oil Kings did get a world of hurt from the Medicine Hat Tigers off their backs last night.

The Kings ground out a 3-2 win at Rexall Place last night over the WHL squad they had been winless against in their season-and-a-half.

On a night that acknowledged Team Canada gold-medallist Tyler Ennis of the Tigers and Oil Kings's silver-medallist (at the Under-17s) Mark Pysyk, head coach Steve Pleau could hand out a couple of golds himself.

But it was the left leg of goalie Torrie Jung that shone the brightest.

His third period leg save off a Brett Cameron blast put a leash on the Tigers as they were inching closer to a tying goal.

"Junger was incredible," said Pleau. "That double-pad stack saved us. That's the best save I've seen since I've been here."

TORRIE TO RESCUE

Jung did like the sound of pucking hitting pad.

"Yeah, it feels good (when you hear it)," he said. But "... if it had've gone in I probably would have looked like a big idiot!

"It's kind of heat-of-the-moment at that point, instinct, maybe. I just tried to get a leg on it, or whatever I was doing, I'm not really sure.

"But - made the save, we get the win, that's all that really matters.

"We only give up maybe 25, 26 shots - we've been doing a pretty good job of that lately. Med Hat is a team we've struggled with, I think everybody knows that and I don't think anybody can be happier than the guys right now."

Craig McCallum's second goal in two games gave the Kings a 2-1 lead later in the second when he scored from high in the slot off a tic-tac-toe play with pointmen Brandon Lockerby and Henrik Tervonen.

"It gave us some momentum," McCallum said. "And the guys kept it going in the third.

"It was a huge win. It was a huge team win. We knew this team has been a tough go for us and we played hard. I knew we had one last shot this year to do it and we got it done."

The Oil Kings didn't get a shot until six minutes into the third, during a 4-on-4 stretch. A charging Jeff Lee was hauled down in the Hat zone, then Sean Ringrose's speed drew a similar one in the Kings' end.

UPTEMPO

Jung and Ryan Holfeld traded solid saves at either end as the tempo reached full peak.

T.J. Foster made it 3-1 after Lee dug it out from behind the net. As Lee barged to the net the puck popped out to Foster who bounced it back past Holfeld.

But before the announcement was finished the Tigers barrelled in off the faceoff and Linden Vey made it 3-2. Then, as the Tigers pushed, came the Jung stack-save.

Slaying the Tigers also gave the Oil Kings two points that put them into an eighth-place playoof spot in the conference.

Great night all-around?

Yes. But coach is still a coach.

"We've still got a lot to learn about winning games, controlling the tempo of the game," said Pleau, though smiling. "But yeah, I'm proud that we battled and found a way to win."


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