The forgotten winning pass

CRASH CAMERON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:07 AM ET

He says he's not the least bit jealous.

Edmonton Oil Kings forward Craig McCallum saw teammate Rhett Rachinski get paid a whole lot of extra attention -- deservedly so -- after scoring a team-history-making overtime game-winner in Prince Albert late Tuesday night.

McCallum, more importantly, saw Rachinski out in front of Raiders' goalie Garret Zemlak.

"Not at all," McCallum said, laughing at the jealousy question.

"I'm just happy we won and get this chance to play Calgary in the playoffs. That means more to me than all that (attention)," he said yesterday from his hotel room in in Hitmen-town.

"I got it behind the net and separated the D-man and I saw Rhetter coming, so I just kind of pushed it over to him."

The goal was the result of opportunity, the result of the Oil Kings' constant pressure, reflected in the lopsided shot totals in overtime.

"I was out with Dowder and Kreuzer to start the shift," he said of Brenden Dowd and Brett Breitkreuz, respectively.

"I got it deep and Dowder went off for a change and then I was going to go off, too. But I saw the D-man, he was just standing there with the puck," he said, his voice showing the same surprise he must have felt as it was happening.

"So I was like, 'Okay, I'll go get it.'

"I went and got it from him, ended up behind the net battling for it, then I poked it out to Rhetter and he put it home."

Then bedlam for the players in red, gold and white.

Head coach Steve Pleau said after the game that he felt he had all his players going for him so his bench never went short.

McCallum said the players had the same feeling.

"We just thought, as a whole, we rolled four lines for the whole game and we had a lot of energy (left in OT). None of us were beat and we were all ready to go."

The winger said the players went into the game ready to let it all hang out after the two-game point-less flop against the Red Deer Rebels that forced the 73rd game on their schedule.

"We just went into it expecting nothing, really. We just wanted to go out there and play our hearts out, see what happens. Red Deer, we played not to lose. We went to P.A. (to) give it our all and wherever we were at the end of the game was where we were at."

Nobody really wanted to make the bus trip to Prince Albert. But yesterday's ride south was much more upbeat.

"But it was sort of a calm excitement, I guess you could say," said McCallum.

"We never wanted to get too high, because we know we've got a tough task in Calgary.

"It was a better bus ride, for sure. But it was a focused bus ride as well."


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