The Edmonton Oil Kings started off their Memorial Cup run on a high note when they beat the Shawinigan Cataractes. Goals from Kristians Pelss, Griffin Reinhart, Martin Gernat and Henrik Samuelsson, coupled with the 30 saves Laurent Brossoit made were what carried the Oil Kings to a 4-3 win over Shawinigan. Today’s opponents, the St. John’s Sea Dogs, were coming off a 5-3 loss to the London Knights and were looking to even out their record. They did.
Kristians Pelss and Stephane Legault were the two goal scorers for Edmonton in their 5-2 loss to the Sea Dogs. Four of the Sea Dogs’ goals came during equal strength play and the fifth ended up in an empty net.
It was Zack Phillips of the Sea Dogs who opened the scoring off a sneak attack on Laurent Brossoit from the side end boards. Kristians Pelss tied it up later in the first period while the Oil Kings were on the power play, and it remained tied at one for the rest of the frame. Jonathan Huberdeau gave St. John’s the lead once more off a breakaway with Charlie Coyle. Later on, Coyle tallied another assist, this time on Danick Gauthier’s goal that put the Sea Dogs up 3-1. One minute later, Stephane Legault put the Oil Kings off a shot from Henrik Samuelsson. It wasn’t until late in the third period, 18:23 to be exact, that Zach Phillips scored once more to give his team a 4-2 lead and chase Brossoit out of the net once the final minute was in sight. Ryan Tesink scored his second of the tourney on the empty net to ensure a 5-2 win over Edmonton and even their record to 1-1.
Every team in the tournament has the same record right now, which a) hasn’t happened since the tournament changed to have four teams back in ’83, and b) puts the Oil Kings in the bottom of the standings. They’re not exactly used to being in that kind of position, but since their goal differential (6 for, 8 against) is technically the worst of all four teams, that’s where they’re stuck. If they can pull off a win against London, and score enough to flip that differential, they’ll move up a little. Providing the other teams don’t all score a hundred goals, or something.
Puck drop is tomorrow at 7 P.M. Eastern time.