Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Oil Kings GDB #2 @ Prince Albert


The Oil Kings wrap up their 2 game season opening roadie tonight at the Art Hauser Centre in Prince Albert.  The Raiders are sitting at 0-2 to start the season after losing both ends of a home and home with Saskatoon.  The Kings come in after dropping their opener in Red Deer 4-3 in overtime. 

Penalties killed the Kings in Red Deer, taking six straight minors in the second period after a quick start to the game.  Edmonton had leads of 2-0 and 3-1 before the Rebels rallied scoring back to back goals on their third 5 on 3 man advantage of the middle frame.

Photo credit:

Players to watch: 

Edmonton:  Josh Lazowski.  The 20 year old is back and looks like he hasn’t missed a beat after undergoing season ending surgery last year.  He had a fast start tallying a goal and an assist in the opener.

Photo credit:

Prince Albert:  Mark McNeil.  The Edmonton native is a first round pick of the Chicago Blackhawks in this past year’s NHL entry draft.  He has not produced much point wise in the first couple games of the season but according to Drew Wilson, the voice of the Raiders, he has been controlling games.

Last Year:
The Kings and Raiders split 4 games last year with both teams going one and one at home.  All time the Oil Kings are 10-3-1-2 against the Raiders and 4-3-0-1 at the Art Hauser Centre. 

EDM- Lazowski, Foster, Gernat (1) 
PA- 6 players (1)

EDM- Lazowski, Gernat (2)
PA- Maylan, Yaworski, Herrod (2)

Pregame show at 6:45, the puck drops just after 7 on the Team 1260.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Oil Kings Open Season

The 2011-12 WHL season gets underway this afternoon in Red Deer for the Oil Kings.  The Kings renew the rivalry with the Rebels, the team that ended their season last year in the first round of the playoffs.  The Rebs opened their season on Friday night with a 3-2 shootout win over the defending WHL Champions Kootenay Ice.

Lineup:  Edmonton

Pelss (’09 EDM)                 St. Croix (’11 NYR)                            Foster
Wruck                                 Lazar                                                   Lazowski             
Legault                                Rachinski                                             Wilson
Moroz                                 Benson                                                Sieben

Pysyk (’10 BUF)               Lowe (’11 CAR)
Gernat (’11 EDM)             Reinhart
Sautner                              Dech

Brossoit (’11 CGY)

Red Deer
Mayor                                 Siwak                                    Persson (’11 NYI)
Ness                                    Kambeitz                              Cowen
Hamilton                              Maxwell                                Muller
Robinson                             McCoy                                 Millette

Dumba                 Petrovic (`10 FLA)
Borejko                Weller (`09 PHX)
Pufahl                   Doetzel

Notes:  Red Deer won the season series last year 5-1, and swept the first round playoff match-up.  The Rebels are without star forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins who is still with the Edmonton Oilers.  This is the first of six meetings between the clubs, the next being  January 8th in Edmonton.  Oil King Travis Ewanyk (’11 EDM) will miss his first game of the season as he recovers from an upper body injury that will likely need surgery in the next week.  Colton Stephenson is also day-to-day with an upper body injury.  All time the Kings are 8-12-1-5 against the Rebels, and  3-7-1-2 in Red Deer.  Puck drop at 3pm, all the action is on The Team 1260.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Waiting for One More and Looking Forward

Keegan Lowe was back at practice for the Edmonton Oil Kings this afternoon.  It's just three days away from the opener in Red Deer on Sunday afternoon, and the Kings are waiting on just one player from NHL camps.  The lone player still away is forward Michael St. Croix, a 4th round pick of the New York Rangers.  There are rumblings that St. Croix will suit up for the Broadway Blueshirts on Friday when they face the New Jersey Devils.  There is a possibility the he could still be back in Edmonton in time to join his WHL teammates for their season opener. 

The Kings have a tough test early in the upcoming season.  Just two of their first ten games are at Rexall Place.  Edmonton opens with a two game road trip, in Red Deer on Sunday afternoon, and in Prince Albert on Wednesday.  They open the home portion of the sked on Friday September 30th against Oiler prospect Tyler Bunz and the Medicine Hat Tigers.  Both teams will travel south after the tilt and hook up again at the Arena in the 'Hat the following night.  The Kings will look to earn their first victory in Medicine Hat in modern franchise history (0-13). 

Edmonton returns home on the 5th of October to face the defending WHL Champions, the Kootenay Ice.  Then it's a good old Western League roadie, 5 games in 6 nights, in 3 provinces.  The Kings have their first visit to the brand new Mosiac Place in Moose Jaw, followed by stops in Saskatoon, Swift Current, Lethbridge, and Kootenay.  It's a tough test early in the season.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Oil Kings on Shaw

The Western Hockey and Shaw Television announced their WHL broadcast schedule earlier this week, and the Oil Kings will be featured five times this season.  Shaw kicks off their schedule on opening night when the Warriors welcome the Brandon Wheat Kings at the brand new Mosiac Place in Moose Jaw on Thursday.  They will follow that up with the first game in Victoria since 1994 when the Royals face the Vancouver Giants Saturday. 

The Oil Kings will make their first appearance on October 21st when they host Portland.  Of the five broadcasts for Edmonton, three will be from Rexall Place and two on the road.  The Kings five games are as follows:

October 21st home vs Portland
November 9th in Vancouver
November 23rd in Lethbridge
December 14th home vs Victoria
February 3rd home vs Red Deer

Here is the full Shaw broadcast schedule.  Of course all the games are on the radio on the Team 1260.

Oil Kings captain Mark Pysyk has been returned to the team from the Buffalo Sabres and will be ready to go for the opening game Sunday afternoon in Red Deer.  Pysyk was part of the Sabres rookie team that took home the gold medal in the Traverse City Prospect Tournament.  According to a few people I talked to he was very impressive at the tourny and Sabres GM Darcy Regier spoke very highly of his game.  Earlier this off season Pysyk signed his entry level contract with the NHL club.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Oil Kings Roster Begins to Take Shape

After finishing up the exhibition portion of their schedule Friday in Lacombe, the 2011-12 Edmonton Oil Kings have begun to take shape.  Leading scorer from last season Dylan Wruck was back with the team in time for the finale, although his night was cut short after being involved in a fight with Red Deer's Aaron Borejko.  According to WHL preseason rules a player that fights receives and major penalty and a game misconduct.  Wruck, a camp invite with San Jose Sharks, played all three games the Sharks played in the Young Stars tournament in Penticton.  He seemed very comfortable at that level and had opportunities in key offensive situations for San Jose. 

With the team having a number of young players in the pipeline, and pushing for roster spots it has been a very competitive camp.  No longer are spots guaranteed on the roster for players returning from last year.  The team begun to pare the roster down in the past few days.  They released soon to be 19 year-old forward Mark Reners over the weekend, and reassigned 16 year-old Brandon Baddock.

Reners was acquired by the Kings near the trade deadline last season from the Vancouver Giants.  He contributed 7 goals and 11 points in 19 games in Edmonton, and suited up for one playoff game.  He had a goal and two helpers in the preseason.  Reners has since joined the AHJL's Brooks Bandits.

Baddock, a big forward at 6'2 190, showed well in camp, and should be looked as a future contributor to the team.  He appeared in all five preseason games going minus one with six PIMS.

The Kings received word today as well that their two Euros Kristians Pelss, and Martin Gernat have be reassigned by the Edmonton Oilers

The Oil Kings currently have 26 players on their roster.  Mark Pysyk (BUF), Keegan Lowe (CAR), and Michael St. Croix (NYR) are still in NHL camps.

 The roster breaks down as follows:

Goalies (3): Brossoit, Groenheyde*, Jarry

Forwards (15): Benson, Ewanyk, Foster, Lazowski*, Lazar, Legault, Moroz, Pelss, Rachinski*, Sieben, St. Croix, Stephens, Stephenson, Wilson, Wruck

Defense (8): Dech, Geertson, Gernat, Laroque, Lowe, Pysyk, Reinhart, Sautner

* denotes 20 year-old

The Oil Kings open up their 5th season in the WHL Sunday afternoon in Red Deer.  The puck drops at 3 on the Team 1260.