Oil Kings streak un-bear-able

GERRY MODDEJONGE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:22 AM ET

As far as wins go, the Edmonton Oil Kings must have been stuffed.

Running into a red-hot Chilliwack Bruins goalie led to a 1-0 loss Friday to halt a five-game win streak, meaning the Oil Kings will have to wait to find a franchise-record sixth consecutive victory.

But Friday night, Edmonton couldn’t buy a goal – not even in the name of charity.

The Bruins weren’t the only bears in the house.

Their cousin Teddy, of the stuffed variety, finally made an appearance, en masse and in rain form only after the Oil Kings failed to score. But the Toyota Teddy Bear Toss in support of 630 CHED Santas Anonymous didn’t go to waste, the 5,811 fans in attendance just had to wait until the game was over.

“We knew that was coming,” said Bruins goalie Lucas Gore. “We had our teddy bear toss this year and didn’t score until the third. But it’s nice to ruin their parade a little bit.”

Gore turned aside all 42 shots in the game, which came on the heels of a 54-save performance two nights earlier in a 3-1 loss in Red Deer.

“He’s been hot,” said Oil Kings coach Derek Laxdal, whose squad outshot the visitors by 23. “We just didn’t get to the net hard enough. We had some good opportunities, some good looks. You’ve got to score on the power play.”

The Oil Kings were 0-for-seven on the power play, while Chilliwack was one-for-four, but it was all they needed.

After outshooting their opponents 21-6 in the first, the Oil Kings’ first test came at the beginning of the second period, when they were forced to kill off a double minor.

The Bruins made good on their next man-advantage, however, when left-winger Ryan Howse putting the puck home from between the hashes with his 23rd goal of the season and the game-winner.

“I thought we gave up a soft penalty kill on their goal,” said Laxdal. “We didn’t make the right adjustments on it, but at the end of the day, I thought our guys battled hard. Gore played hard and sometimes you hit a hot goalie.”

After the first 20 minutes, the Oil Kings led 21-6 in shots, but they flooded both ends during intermission anyway.

The Oil Kings are going to be two bodies short Saturday in Saskatoon after defenceman Jesse Pearson went down with a mild concussion in a fight with Bruins forward Curt Gogol, as well as Adrian Van de Mosselaer’s suspension.

“I thought our depth was a little short (Friday) night, but we’re going to be even shorter (Saturday) night,” said Laxdal. “We’ve got a tough test when we go into Saskatoon. They’re probably the best team in the conference.”

Equally as tough was swallowing the fact that they didn’t score on teddy bear night.

“The one game that we probably need at least one goal for our fans to have a little bit of fun throwing them on the ice,” said defenceman Mark Pysyk, who returned to the lineup after Team Canada tryouts. “But it was for a good cause, we got a lot of teddy bears so it’s good to see.

“Five wins is good. It’s a tough way to end the streak but we’ve just got to move on. We’ve got a game (Saturday) and get a streak going again.”

gerry.moddejonge@sunmedia.ca

twitter.com/Gerry_EdmSun


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