The Edmonton Oil Kings host one of the biggest games on their home calendar on Sunday. The Oil Kings are hosting their fourth annual Pink At The Rink Event. The Pink At The Rink Event is a game where funds are raised to support cancer research and those with cancer. This year, Sorrentino's Compassion House will benefit from the proceeds of the event. Like many similar events, Pink at the Rink will feature specialty pink jerseys, which will then be auctioned during and after the game, special pink sticks, and a lot of emotion. The Oil Kings have incorporated more personal elements into the event, making it more than just another cancer fundraiser.
Many players have been touched by the effects of cancer, and having lost someone to cancer is sadly not an uncommon occurrence; this means that for many fans as well as players, this game is a special one. The fact the event will support Sorrentino's Compassion House this year is a bonus. The home supports women who have travelled to Edmonton for treatment by providing affordable housing and support. The ability to help make a difference in someone's life simply by attending a hockey game is a rare opportunity. However, Sunday's game gives hockey fans a chance to support a great charity and take in an exciting game.
The Edmonton Oil Kings come into the contest on Sunday having beaten the Brandon Wheat Kings on Friday night. The game was an interesting one, where the Oil Kings fell behind early in the first period but managed to score twice before period's end. The first goal, scored by Koep, was off a rebound in a scramble in front of the net. The second goal, scored by Bauer, was beautiful goal which gave the Oil Kings a lead they maintained for the rest of the night.
Koep added another goal for his team before the first minute of the second period ended, giving the Oil Kings a 3-1 advantage, which soon became a 3-2 advantage after a goal by Hawryluk at 9:46 of the second. Dysin Mayo restored the two goal lead in the dying seconds of the second period with a power play goal. Despite Brandon adding their own power play marker in the third, Patrick Dea was able to shut the door-including making several diving saves in the last minutes of play-to secure an Oil Kings victory.
The Oil Kings, currently in eighth place in the Eastern Conference, will host the last place Kootenay Ice on Sunday in a matinee affair. The last time these two teams clashed, it was in late December, and the Oil Kings picked up a 5-2 victory. The Ice find themselves on a seven-game losing streak, dating back to early January. The Oil Kings have won their last three games at home, making this an interesting match-up of streaks.
Much like the early part of the season, the Oil Kings rely heavily on the offense of Brett Pollock (a second round draft pick of the Dallas Stars) and Lane Bauer (undrafted). Pollock leads the team with 51 points, and Bauer has the most goals with 22. There's a 16-point difference between Bauer's second place points total of 47 and Dysin Mayo's third place total of 31. In short,, the Oil Kings offense is driven largely by Pollock and Bauer. Recently, however, contributions from Captain Brandon Baddock have been timely and important. In addition, defensemen Aaron Irving and Brayden Gorda have seemed to form a solid working partnership that gives the Oil Kings more defensive options than they previously possessed.
No matter the outcome of the game on Sunday, the real winner will be Sorrentino's Compassion House, which is exactly how it should be. Tickets are still available. The game starts at 4pm and will feature family-based activities as well as silent and live auctions.