Goalie sends Oil Kings up Creek without a paddle

CRASH CAMERON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 12:25 PM ET

All Jeff Lee had to do to get his team back in the game was take the puck over the blueline, swoop his way around and past defenceman Eric Doyle, hold on to the puck as he cut across the face of the net until goalie Travis Yonkman was down and out, then stop and zip the puck up and over and bulge the twine into the back of the Swift Current Broncos' net.

Simple as that. Game tied.

All Dillon Wagner had to do was simply step over the blueline and wire it towards the Edmonton Oil Kings net. Game winner.

An empty-netter made it a 3-1 win for Swift Current over the Edmonton Oil Kings at Rexall Place last night.

Lee's highlight-reel goal midway through the second decidedly shifted momentum back to the Oil Kings, but Wagner's bullet at 2:16 of the third was the nail in the scoreboard Edmonton couldn't overcome.

"We were tight the first 25 minutes, but once we got going I thought we were very effective," said Oil Kings head coach Steve Pleau.

"They couldn't handle our speed.

"I thought you saw some nerves at the beginning of the game. We were tight. Our captain got us out of that rut and from that point on, I thought we dominated we just couldn't score."

The effort was there to tie it up again, but so, too, was Bronco goalie Travis Yonkman. Two of his 12 third-period saves were on breakaways.

"What are you going to do?" Pleau shrugged.

"(Yonkman) is a 20-year-old, they are experienced. They hung on tonight. Give them credit."

In other words, Swift Current used their experience to all but steal a win on the road.

"When Lee scored I thought it was like a different team," said Pleau.

"You shouldn't have to wait for something like that, but we're young. And if that's what it takes, we'll take what we can get."

Lee concurred.

"We kind of turned the momentum after that goal. In can be a fight, it can be a big hit. In this case, it was a goal. We just couldn't get another one."

The loss didn't hurt the Oil Kings' position in the standings.

They hold on to the eighth playoff spot in the WHL east when the Saskatoon Blades beat the Prince Albert Raiders 5-4 last night.

DAVID.CAMERON@SUNMEDIA.CA


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