SUN Hockey Pool

Rookie behaviour

SCOTT ZERR -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 8:40 AM ET

Rob Schremp made his point. Emphatically.

Two laser-beam slapshots that found the back of the net. Picturesque evidence of the offensive flare that the Edmonton Oilers want from one of their top prospects in the running for a spot with the big club.

Schremp impressed.

Then he disappointed - a stone-cold giveaway that cost the Edmonton Oiler Rookies a 5-4 overtime decision to the University of Alberta Golden Bears.

"I thought I played a pretty good game both ways," said Schremp after a hot contest before a mob of more than 2,800 at Clare Drake Arena.

Schremp was on his game in the offensive end. Just 43 seconds into the third period, he sent a wicked drive over the shoulder of Bears goalie Blake Grenier. But Schremp's suspect defensive play was the killer for the Rookies as he gave the puck away in OT, allowing Brian Ballman to score his first goal in two years to give the U of A its fifth straight win over the Oilers.

NOT AT THIS LEVEL

"It was a mishap," said Schremp, who teed up a low drive for a power-play marker in the first.

"I saw our guys were changing and a couple of guys were cutting down that side, so I just tried to hit them with a pass. The guy batted it out of the air - there was not much else I could do.

"It was a screw-up on my part. I should have put it higher in the air, but what can I do now?"

"You can get away with some things in junior and college hockey, you get to the next level you can't get away with them," said Kevin Prendergast, the Oil's vice-president of hockey operations. "It's one of those things that happen.

"Robbie will learn from it. The positives that he gave us tonight far outweighed the negatives."

Where that leaves Schremp in the race for a spot is still up in the air. Marc-Antoine Pouliot didn't hurt his cause with a blast that gave the Rookies a 4-3 edge midway through the third and Yan Stastny showed his creativity with some nifty work behind the net to set up a goal by Zack Stortini.

"It's hard to tell who's ahead of who," said Prendergast. "Robbie showed exactly what he's got offensively. Yan showed the type of character he has - he's a pro. Pouliot, it was probably the best game we've ever seen him play here."

STIFF UPPER LIP

Still, Schremp kept a stiff upper lip.

"I definitely feel confident having a game like that. Alberta's a good team but it's going to be a lot different going against Semenov, Pronger, Peca and Smyth," said Schremp. "It's going to be tough but I'm pretty happy with the way I'm skating and the way I'm playing."

Devan Dubnyk made an inauspicious debut in the Rookie net when he surrendered a weak goal 35 seconds in as Ben Kilgour, while falling flat onto the ice, was able to poke a shot through the goalie's legs.

Tim Krymusa, Brad Tutschek and Ben Thomson, whose power-play goal with 1:13 to go forced overtime, also scored for the U of A.


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