The Edmonton oil Kings hosted their first Star Wars night benefiting Sorrentino’s Compassion House on Saturday, November 4th. The highly anticipated game saw the Oil Kings welcome the Saskatoon Blades to Rogers Place. The heavily publicized event drew in a large crowd of excited Star Wars and hockey fans. Amid all the Star Wars themed extras – special jerseys, costumed characters, contests, and intermission games and jokes – the Oil Kings had a more competitive performance than they have had in recent games.
After a lackluster game against the Regina pats, the Oil Kings had a better game on Thursday against the Seattle Thunderbirds. However, the Oil Kings still struggled to limit the Thunderbirds scoring chances. They were out of position and unable to maintain offensive pressure consistently. The power play was ineffective and looked disorganized.
Saturday night got off to a similar poor start for the Oil Kings. Not only were they unable to convert on an extended power play but they also ended the first period down by two goals. Instead of wilting, the Oil Kings rallied with a goal early in the second period followed by a second goal early in the third period. Unfortunately for the Oil Kings and their fans, the luck didn’t hold. The Blades added a final, game-winning goal, with ten seconds left in the game.
The Oil Kings push back against the Blades is unusual for the team; recently, the Oil Kings haven’t been able to fight back into games when they find themselves behind early. That the Oil Kings didn’t give up in this game is a positive sign for the team – one of the few signs of progress the Oil Kings have should in the last few games. That competitive spark is something the Oil Kings have been lacking this season; it’s reappearance is a good sign for the Oil Kings and their fans.
Next the Oil Kings will have to work on playing for the entire sixty minutes so they don’t find themselves having to make up ground in the second or third period. Their continued defensive failures and inability to convert on their power play opportunities are problematic. Much like not putting in a full 60 minutes of effort, the Oil Kings will need more than they are currently putting on the ice if thy want different results as the season continues.
In addition to a better performance on the ice, the Oil Kings incorporated family friendly Star Wars activities to create an unique atmosphere. They also hosted several fundraising events for Sorrentino’s Compassion House – including an auction for special Star Wars themed jerseys.
Despite the heart-breaking finish, the evening was a successful as the Oil Kings played an improved game, saw a larger crowd, and raised funds for a worthy charity.