The Edmonton Oil Kings wrapped up a very successful weekend on Sunday afternoon. With three convincing wins in three games played, the Oil Kings looked like a team ready to storm up the WHL rankings and contend for a division title.
The Oil Kings played their first game in Cranbrook against the Kootenay Ice on Friday evening. The last two games the Oil Kings have played against the Ice have been back and forth affairs. This game was different from the start. The Oil Kings amassed a considerable a seven goal lead before Kootenay managed to score once. A final score of 7-2 provided the Oil Kings an important road win and sent them back to Rogers Place in high spirts. The only slight worry was that one of Kootenay’s goals was scored shorthanded. While the Oil Kings had a more than comfortable lead in this case, there have been several moments this season where the power play has seemed to lose focus and it has resulted in a shorthanded goal for the opposition.
The Oil Kings returned to Rogers Place to welcome the Saskatoon Blades. The evening had super hero theme, providing a festive and fun atmosphere at Rogers Place. The Oil Kings built off their success in Cranbrook. They started a little bit slowly, with one goal in the first, but exploded into a flurry of offense in the second and third periods. The Oil Kings again allowed a shorthanded goal from the Blades but at least this time they also scored one of their own.
The Oil Kings finished the weekend with a Halloween themed family friendly clash against the Lethbridge Hurricanes. The Oil Kings commanded the majority of the game, scoring six goals. Their first was another shorthanded tally from Benjafield. It was quickly equalized by the Hurricanes, but the Oil Kings scored five unanswered goals to give themselves an insurmountable lead. Oil Kings rookie, Jake Neighbours, had an excellent game on Sunday with two goals and an assist. And defenseman Keegan Slaney – shoring up the Oil Kings depleted defense – was a noticeable presence in his second WHL game. The Oil Kings seemed to relax late in the third and the Hurricanes scored two quick goals to bring the score to six to three.
Oil Kings forward Quinn Benjafield had an excellent week. With five goals and an assist, the 20 year old had his best series of games so far this year. If he can continue to have strong performances, he will add more depth to the Oil Kings scoring options. Vince Loschiavo, the Oil Kings other over age player, had an excellent start to the season, but is currently sidelined with an upper body injury. The Oil Kings will be glad to see both players that they traded for over the offseason making a tangible difference on the score sheet.
Oil Kings Captain, Trey Fix-Wolansky, had another impressive weekend. The captain added another five points to his total, which is almost double that of Benjafield, who sits second in Oil Kings scoring. Fix- Wolansky has been the driving force behind the Oil Kings offense this season. However, the mix of goals and assists which he has put up is more balanced this season. Last season, it seemed like the majority of Fix-Wolansky’s offense came from goals. This season there is a greater contribution from other Oil Kings which seems to have taken some of the pressure off one player and provided the Oil Kings a greater range of options. This more balanced scoring makes the Oil Kings more difficult to play against.
The Oil Kings go east over the next two weeks playing in Regina and Swift Current. Following that they head west again for another meeting with Kootenay. The finish their series of away games by going south where they play Medicine Hat and Lethbridge twice.
The Oil Kings will return to Rogers Place to host Kelowna on November 17th before heading back on the road.