The Edmonton Oil kings opened their 2018-2019 season with a 4-2 victory against the Red Deer Rebels at Rogers Place on Friday night. The two teams met again in Red Deer the following night and the Oil Kings came away with a 4-1 victory. Over all, the start to the 2018-2019 season is much stronger and a reason for hope.
Many of the Oil Kings players had strong performances, including goaltenders Boston Bilous and Dylan Myskiw. The Oil Kings offence was also working as several players got their first goals in the 2018-2019 season including Scott Atkinson, David Kope, Brett Kemp, Connor McDonald, Vince Loschiavo, and Trey Fix-Wolansky. Defenseman Matthew Robertson earned first star of the game honours and Saturday night in Red Deer.
The Oil Kings strong start had two standout players – Trey Fix-Wolansky and Vince Loschiavo. Fix-Wolansky, recently named Captain, had one goal and five assists for a total of six points in his first two games. Vince Loschaivo had three goals and 1 assist for four points. Both players will be expected to continue to contribute to the Oil Kings offense – though maybe not quite at their current rate.
The Oil Kings opponents over the weekend – the Red Deer Rebels – are expected to be a team much like this year’s Oil Kings. After losing several key pieces last year, the Rebels are looking to reset and rebuild their team while maintaining a place in playoff contention. While good results against the Rebels might not be the same thing as good results against a stronger team, it is an excellent start for the Oil Kings and gives them some time to figure out what works and what doesn’t in their lines.
The Oil Kings still have several roster decisions to make. With four goaltenders on their roster, for example, the Oil Kings staff will have to use these first games as an assessment period to build a team that can compete in the Eastern Conference. There are also several young forwards that the Oil Kings may or may not wish to keep with the team this year.
One area where the Oil Kings seem set is on their defense. With Matthew Robertson, Will Warm, Ethan Cap and Connor McDonald anchoring the defense, the Oil Kings have more returning talent on their blue line than most other areas. The addition of Alexander gives the Oil Kings a reasonably experienced group of players to create a top four with while still having some wiggle room to make adjustments as needed.
Up next for the Oil Kings is the Medicine Hat Tigers at Rogers Place on Wednesday September 26, 2018. The Tigers have gotten off to a one and one start to the 2018-2019 season. The Tigers, another Central Division team, may be a tougher test for the Oil Kings as they have struggled against the small size and speed of the Tigers. J. Hamblin has gotten off to a similar start to Fix-Wolansky. With two goals and three assists, Hamblin will be a player to watch for the Oil Kings.
Head Coach Brad Lauer and General Manager Kirt Hill will work on refining the Oil Kings line up and hope that they can continue on as they started