Oil Kings sting 'Canes

CRASH CAMERON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:41 AM ET

Maybe it was because the play was a failed breakaway.

Oh, so many times the Edmonton Oil Kings couldn't score on breakaways against the Lethbridge Hurricanes yesterday.

Just when it looked like the Oil Kings weren't going to take advantage of their game in hand over the Prince Albert Raiders for the final playoff spot, captain Brenden Dowd fired a heat-seeker from the circle at 12:52 of the third to give the Kings a 2-1 lead - and win - over Lethbridge.

And the huge two-point advantage over the idle Raiders.

"We might need to do a practice drill with breakaways," Dowd was able to joke afterwards. "We're getting lots, but we just can't bury them."

After not blowing into town until 4 a.m., the Hurricanes were fading, but Finnish goalie Juha Metsola had looked like he was going to steal it.

A back-and-forth pace hit another gear when Dowd and winger Michael Burns burst into the 'Canes' zone.

"I'd seen Burnsie and tried to hit him for the breakaway. It just bumped over his stick," said Dowd. "But he got a piece of it, so no icing. He took a hit and passed it back to me. I walked out in front and saw I had a shot and took advantage of it."

At the halfway point in the game, the shots were 15-14, Kings. It reflected the balance of the game, as did the 1-1 score. At the end of the second, the shots were 26-15, Kings. The score was still 1-1.

Metsola (31 saves) got bounces early, but what often happens is that lack-of-finish by one team goes straight to the head - and glove - of a goalie. But the Finn hadn't got into Dowd's head.

"There was a (hole) there, but I just took a shot, to be honest with you," said Dowd. "Just shoot the puck on the net and see what happens."

Up to that point, it seemed prudent to tally up the ones that 'might come back to haunt you.'

"We're about 0-for-8 on power plays in the last two games, so I was thinking the same way," said head coach Steve Pleau. "I'm thinking, 'We're playing so well, but we can't put the puck in the ocean right now.' Then, all of a sudden "(But) you've got to believe that's going to happen if you continue to play with structure and you work. And I give our guys that credit. They had determination."

Dowd and Burns were in the right place on the Kings' first goal - in front of Metsola - but neither got a point on the power play goal later credited to Mark Pysyk's point shot.

"(We) we're joking about it in the room," said Dowd. "It hit me, but it didn't redirect or anything. So that doesn't matter to me at all."

What did hit him was "the two points. Putting the pressure on Prince Albert."


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