The Edmonton Oil Kings returned to Rogers Place for two games this weekend. After a less than ideal road trip to face the US Division, the Oil Kings were looking to bounce back and pick up some points on home ice. At the very least, the Oil Kings were hoping for a solid performance they could use to build momentum.
Friday night’s game against Red Deer was none of those things. The Oil Kings defense was non-existent despite being physically present on the ice. Boston Bilous was a little shaky allowing two goals on the first two shots. To compound the Oil Kings troubles against Red Deer, they were unable to maintain a consistent offensive presence. While the Oil Kings had periods of strong play, they were over all inconsistent and allowed Red Deer too many opportunities. Brandon Hagel’s hat trick was full of impressive goals, but unfortunately for Oil Kings fans they were against the home team. The 5-2 score fairly accurately represents the game overall.
The Oil Kings returned to home ice on Sunday afternoon to face the Kootenay Ice. The Ice have a similar season record to the Oil Kings (3-4-3 heading into Sunday’s game). The last time these two teams met, at the start of the Oil Kings US Division road trip, the Ice won in overtime. That, however, was not to be this time. The Oil Kings finally managed the bounce back game they’d been looking for. Their offence got started early in the first and was fairly consistent throughout the game. They looked much stronger defensively than Friday night, and Dylan Myskiw had a stronger showing than Bilous. This was, of course, helped by a stronger defensive performance over all.
With six goals on Sunday, the Oil Kings offense had its best game since before the US Division road trip. One element that stands out is that Oil Kings offense came from individuals who have had less of an impact so far this season. Andrei Pavlenko had an excellent game with two goals and Matthew Robertson recorded his first of the season. Trey Fix-Wolansky continued to make an impact adding two goals and an assist to his team leading scoring sheet.
The Oil Kings return to action on Friday night as they travel back to Cranbrook to face the Ice again. After the score line of Sunday’s game, it wouldn’t be unusual for Kootenay to have a strong start to the game. The Oil Kings will have to be careful as if they fall behind early, they may have trouble building momentum and changing the direction of the game.
After Friday, the Oil Kings return to Rogers Place for two more weekend games. The trip to Cranbrook adds some difficulty to this series of games. Playing three games in three days can be a challenge for any team, but it will certainly test the Oil Kings fairly inexperienced roster.
Saturday night against the Saskatoon Blades in a promotional game dubbed Super Hero night and Sunday afternoon in a family friendly tilt against the Lethbridge Hurricanes. The Oil Kings will certainly remember that the Saskatoon Blades handed them their first loss of the 2018-2019 season. The Blades currently sit third in the league with an 8-3-1 record and have had a great deal of success in recent games. The Lethbridge Hurricanes sit tenth with 5-4-3 record. The Oil Kings are currently in 14th with a 6-7-1 record and have played more games than any of their weekend opponents.
The Oil Kings will be looking to collect as many points as possible as they currently sit seventh in the playoff race and one of the team’s stated goals for this season was to contend for a playoff berth.