King-size collapse

CRASH CAMERON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:55 AM ET

A one-sided first period?

The Oil Kings were outshot by the Saskatoon Blades 12-1.

It wasn't pretty but it wasn't as lopsided as the totals suggested.

That would be the third period, when the Blades scored five unanswered goals for 7-1 win.

"I don't think I could have been more optimistic heading into the third period. I thought we were ready to go out there and win a hockey game," said Kings head coach Steve Pleau.

LEAD DIVISION

The third started with the WHL's Eastern-leading Blades up 2-1 and sporting a 27-0-2 record when leading after two.

But the third period also started with an Oil Kings' power play.

They should have declined it. And the next one.

Leduc's Travis Toomey converted a short-handed turn-over when he fired one up and over the flailing glove of Oil Kings goalie Torrie Jung.

"We couldn't execute on our power play, then all of a sudden they come down and it's in our net," said Pleau, more frustrated than angry.

It might have been a five-on-three that the Kings failed to convert in the second period - which would have tied the game at 2 - that was the first signal of impending doom.

"That did hurt us," said Pleau. "But, up to that point I liked our power play. When we went over it during the second period we had them running around, we had good shots. That's what got us back in the game," said Pleau.

He was referring to a power play earlier in the second that made it 2-1 Blades.

Brenden Dowd one-timed a Raedke cross-point feed. The captain's high shot kept rising through Saskatoon goalie Braden Holtby. That gave Dowd three goals and five assists in his last six games.

What do you do when the walls come tumbling down?

"You try and call timeouts and try and settle the guys down. It's part of the learning process. I know I say that all the time, but that's why I have patience for these guys," said Pleau. "If you think I'm going to get mad at Kieran Friesen or Mark Pysyk or ... look at what Michael Burns did."

The Kings' Edmonton-born winger went toe-to-toe in the third with Saskatoon's Darian Dziurzynski.

POSITIVES

"To me, that's awesome. He showed that he wanted to be part of this group. And after that fight he had the best five or six shifts that he played all year.

"So, you know what? There's always positives."

Even if they aren't pretty.

NOTES: CERTAINLY WASN'T THE HYPE SURROUNDING JORDAN EBERLE WHEN THE REGINA PATS WERE HERE LAST WEEK, BUT THE BLADES' SLOVAK CENTRE MILAN KYTNAR IS AN OILERS' DRAFT PICK. CLEARLY HE WAS TRYING TOO HARD TO IMPRESS ... SHERWOOD PARK'S DUNCAN SIEMENS - SASKATOON'S NO. 1 BANTAM DRAFT (3RD OVERALL) - STARTED ON DEFENCE LAST NIGHT, HIS SECOND APPEARANCE WITH THE BLADES THIS SEASON. HE GOT AN ASSIST ON THE THIRD GOAL ... SASKATOON FEATURES A NUMBER OF AREA PLAYERS, INCLUDING SECOND-LEADING SCORER ADAM CHORNEYKO (ST. ALBERT), D COLIN JOE, C TRAVIS TOOMEY (LEDUC), LW DARIUS DZIURZYNSKI (LLOYDMINSTER), RW BURKE GALLIMORE AND RW CHRIS LANGKOW (VEGREVILLE), COUSIN TO THE FLAMES' DAYMOND ... THERE IS ONE OIL KINGS CAMOUFLAGE JERSEY LEFT TO BE AUCTIONED, THE NO. 22 THAT WAS TO WORN BY THE INJURED TOMAS VINCOUR. YOU CAN BID ONLINE AT WWW.OILKINGS.CA UNTIL MARCH 1.


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