Thunder goalie gets call

DEREK VAN DIEST, QMI AGENCY

, Last Updated: 4:00 AM ET

Bryan Pitton left Alaska to come freeze in Edmonton.

But he plans to enjoy every minute of his time here.

The Edmonton Oilers prospect was called up from the ECHL's Stockton Thunder to fill in for Devan Dubnyk at practice yesterday.

Dubnyk was sent back to Springfield briefly to get some work. He will return in time to back up Jeff Deslauriers tomorrow against the Los Angeles Kings.

SURPRISE

"It was a nice surprise to get the call," said Pitton. "We just finished winning a game in Alaska, and as we were celebrating in the crease the coach came over to me and told me I was going to Edmonton.

"It was pretty neat. Once we got back in the room, all the guys found out and came over to congratulate me."

Pitton, 21, was the Oilers third pick -- 133rd overall -- in the 2006 NHL Entry draft.

He's been in Stockton the last two seasons, posting a 4-7-1 record this season with a 3.28 goals against average and .907 save percentage.

The native of Mississauga, Ont., played his junior hockey with the Brampton Battalion.

"Things started off a little rough in Stockton this year," Pitton said. "But I've been getting a lot of playing time recently, and when you're playing a lot, you're able to get into a little bit of a groove and I've been able to pick things up a bit."

BACK INJURY

With Nikolai Khabibulin still out with a back injury, Deslauriers has handled practically all of the goaltending duties in his absence.

Dubnyk was called up from Springfield to be the backup, but with a slight break in the schedule, the Oilers took the opportunity to get him into a game with the Falcons on Saturday.

Dubnyk had a tough outing, giving up seven goals on 26 shots in a 7-1 loss to the Portland Pirates.


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