Friday, November 25, 2011

GDB # 25 vs Medicine Hat

Oil Kings(24 13-8-1-2) vs Medicine Hat Tigers(26 15-8-1-2)

The Oil Kings open their 11 game homestand tonight against division rival Medicine Hat.  The Kings are coming off their most offensive night in modern franchise history, scoring 10 goals Wednesday in Lethbridge.  Michael St. Croix led the way with a five point night (3-2).  Dylan Wruck and Ryan Dech both posted three assists in the game.  Griffen Reinhart made his return to the lineup and was plus three adding his fourth goal of the season.  The Kings also acquired 20 year old Tyler Maxwell on Thursday from the Everett Silvertips.  Maxwell is expected to make his Oil King debut wearing number 23 tonight.

Photo: Andy Devlin/Edmonton Oil Kings

The Tigers play game five of a six game road trip tonight at Rexall Place.  They are coming off a 6-1 drubbing of the Prince Albert Raiders.  They are led by the two leading goal scorers in the WHL.  Emerson Etem has 26 goals in 25 games this year, and Hunter Shinkaruk has scored 25 times in 26 games.  Etem sits 2nd in league scoring with 50 points, five behind Brandon's Ryan Stone.

Players to watch: 

Edmonton: Tyler Maxwell.  The 20 year old plays his first game as an Oil King tonight against the Tigers.  Maxwell is a goal scorer, he tallied 41 last season and has 11 in 19 games this year.  It will be interesting to see if Maxwell shows any rust, he has not played in about two weeks after requesting a trade out of Everett.  Look for him to get an opportunity with Michael St. Croix at times tonight, and Maxwell will shoot the puck from everywhere.

Medicine Hat: Tyler Bunz.  The St. Albert product and Edmonton Oiler draft pick is among the leaders in most goaltending categories in the WHL.  An athletic goalie, Bunz has fine tuned his game over the last season and the start of this year.  He is less prone to over commit on shots, and makes saves look easy.  Bunz is in a battle to be the starter for Team Canada in the upcoming World Junior Hockey Championships.

Season Series: The Tigers are 2-0 against the Oil Kings this season.  They beat the Kings 5-3 in Edmonton on September 30, before rallying the next night in the Gas City to win 4-3 in a shoot out.  Historically the Kings have struggled against the Tigers, winning just three of the 28 meetings between the two clubs.


Goals- EDM- Kristians Pelss, Tyler Maxwell (11)
MH- Emerson Etem (26)

Points- EDM- Michael St. Croix (28)
MH- Etem (50)

Wins- EDM- Laurent Brossoit (12)
MH- Tyler Bunz (14)

PIMS- EDM- Keegan Lowe (49)
MH- Cole Grbavac (48)

EDM- Mark Pysyk-Buffalo Sabres (1st Round, 2010), Kristians Pelss- Edmonton Oilers (7th, 2010), Keegan Lowe- Carolina Hurricanes (3rd, 2011), Travis Ewanyk- Oilers (3rd, 2011), Michael St. Croix- New York Rangers (4th, 2011), Martin Gernat- Oilers (5th, 2011), Laurent Brossoit- Calgary Flames (6th, 2011)

MH- Emerson Etem- Anaheim Ducks (1st, 2010), , Alex Theriau- Dallas Stars (4th, 2010), Tyler Bunz- Oilers (5th, 2010), Kale Kessy- Phoenix Coyotes (4th, 2011).

Photo: Andy Devlin/Edmonton Oil Kings

Injury Report:

EDM:  #3, Mark Pysyk, Upper body, day to day
#7, Stephane Legault, Upper body, 1 week
#15, David Stephens, Upper body, week to week
#16, TJ Foster, Upper body, day to day
#21, Travis Ewanyk, Upper body, 1 month +
#25, Tristan Sieben, Lower body, day to day

MH: None

Notes:  Tiger forward Emerson Etem leads the league in goals (26) and sits second in points (50).  Etem has seven shorthanded goals, more than every team except for the Kamloops Blazers.  Hunter Shinkaruk is second in the league in goals (25), and sits 8th in scoring (36).  Edmonton's Michael St Croix is coming off a five point night and now sits 17th in scoring (28).  Oil King defenceman Martin Gernat is tied for 5th in rookie scoring in the WHL (20), Curtis Lazar is 11th (16). Gernat is also tied for 5th in scoring amongst defencemen.  Tiger goalie Tyler Bunz leads the WHL in minutes played (1333), Oil Kings netminder Laurent Brossoit is 4th (1247).  Bunz is tied for second in the league in wins (14), and is 6th in GAA (2.52), Brossoit is 8th (2.55).   To make room for Maxwell on their roster the Oil Kings placed 20 year old Josh Lazowski on waivers.  This is the third of six meetings this season between the clubs.  Pregame show at 6:45, the puck drops at 7:00 on the Team 1260.