Oil Kings playin' 'em for Patsies
DEREK VAN DIEST, QMI Agency
|Oil Kings winger Mike Piluso beats Regina Pats goalie Damien Ketlo on a first-period breakaway at Rexall Place on Saturday. The Oil Kings whipped the Pats 7-1. (Codie MacLachlan, QMI Agency)
EDMONTON - The Edmonton Oil Kings snapped a two-game losing skid in style Saturday, beating the Regina Pats 7-1 at Rexall Place.
Stephane Legault, Dylan Wruck, Mike Piluso, Griffin Reinhart, Keegan Lowe, Jordan Hickmott and Adrian Van de Mosselaer scored for the Oil Kings, while Lane Scheidl responded for the Pats.
Oil Kings goaltender Jon Groenheyde finished with 37 saves.
“It was a big win,” said Wruck. “We’ve had some success against them in the past, we knew they had a big win (the night before), so we had to be prepared to play.
“I thought we came out ready, and we played a full 60 minutes.
“It was big to get out to a lead. We’ve struggled with our starts a little bit in the past, but we were able to get off to a good start and kept our foot on the gas.”
Legault got things going, banking in a shot off goaltender Damien Ketlo five minutes into the game.
Wruck made it 2-0 four minutes later with a great play behind the net, feinting in one direction then reversing to tuck the puck past Ketlo on the other side.
Piluso rounded out the scoring in the frame, displaying his skating skills by blowing past the Pats’ defencemen and snapping a shot behind Ketlo.
“I thought the guys went into the game pretty focused; we wanted to try to get out to a lead,” said Edmonton head coach Derek Laxdal.
“We were able to extend the lead and then I thought the guys did a good job in the third period of staying focused and staying with the game plan.”
The Oil Kings kept up the pressure in the second, as Reinhart tipped in a Wruck centring pass.
Lowe then jumped in on a rush to make it 5-0, and Hickmott redirected a pass from Van de Mosselaer to bump the lead to 6-0 after 40 minutes.
In the third, Scheidl scored a consolation goal for the Pats, who went into the contest near the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings despite having won three of their past four.
Van de Mosselaer rounded out the scoring with 40 seconds left.
“Our guys had some fun tonight and it’s always nice to be on the winning end,” said Laxdal.
“We have Kootenay back here on Wednesday and that’s going to be a big game for us.”
The win was the 20th of the season for the Oil Kings and maintained their seventh-place standing in the Eastern Conference.
Wednesday’s 11:30 a.m. puck-drop against Kootenay will mark Edmonton’s second annual CN Hockey Hooky event.
They’re expecting upwards of 7,000 in attendance, made up of school kids from around the city.
“That game is always fun,” Wruck said.
“It should be some excitement. It’ll be a lot of kids our there, so it should be nice and loud.
“That’s always a good environment to play in.”