Tuesday, December 27, 2011

GDB #36 @ Saskatoon

Oil Kings (35 23-9-1-2) @ Blades (35 20-14-0-1)

The Oil Kings hit the road in Saskatoon tonight to face the Blades.  It is the Kings first road game since November 23 when they visited Lethbridge.  Edmonton wrapped up the first half of the WHL season with an 11 game homestand, going 10-1.  They lost their last game out 6-5 to the Regina Pats on a last second breakaway goal by Jordan Weal.  Edmonton opens up their four game World Junior road trip, which stops in Moose Jaw, Brandon, and Regina after tonight.  Three new faces will be in the lineup for the Kings, who have six players away at either the World Juniors or U-17s.  Ryan Aasman, Braeden Johnson and Brendan Jensen will suit up for Edmonton.  Aasman is a WHL veteran with stops in Prince Albert, Seattle, Swift Current and Medicine Hat.  He is currently playing for the Spruce Grove Saints of the AJHL. Fellow Saint, Brendan Jensen will be the emergency backup goaltender.  He has played parts of three seasons with the Vancouver Giants.  Johnson has experience with Saskatoon, posting ten points in 62 games with the Blades.  He is now playing for the Battlefords North Stars of the SJHL.

Photo: Andy Devlin/Edmonton Oil Kings

The Blades finished up the first half of the season on a three game losing skid.  They have only won two of their last ten outings.  They are coming off a 5-1 defeat at the hands of the Kelowna Rockets.  Al three of the loses were at the Credit Union Centre.  

Photo: Edmonton Sun
Players to watch: 

Edmonton: Cody Corbett.  The just turned 18 year old Corbett will play his 20th WHL game tonight.  He will be relied upon heavily on this road trip with defenders away for the Kings.  Corbett has been a solid addition for Edmonton, adding a big shot, physical presence, and a smooth transition game to an already deep defensive core.  Corbett has posted three goals and 13 points and is plus six on the year.

Photo: Sheri Lamb/Prince Albert Daily Herald
Saskatoon:  Adam Todd.  The backup goaltender will be thrust into the starter's role with Andrey Makarov representing Russia at the World Juniors.  Todd has played just seven games over two years for the Blades.  He was pulled 3:20 into his last start after giving up two goals on three shots.  He faired well in his appearance against the Oil Kings earlier this month, allowing a goal on seven shots in a relief of Makarov.

Season Series: The teams have split their previous two meeting this year.  The Blades downed Edmonton 5-1 on October 8th in Saskatoon, while the Kings picked up an 8-3 win at Rexall December 4th.  The final matchup in March 4th in Edmonton.
Photo: Andy Devlin/Edmonton Oil Kings

Goals- EDM- Michael St. Croix (18), Tyler Maxwell (18)
SAS- Josh Nicholls (20)

Points- EDM- St. Croix (52)
SAS- Matej Stransky (36)

Wins- EDM- Laurent Brossoit (20)
SAS- Andrey Makarov (18)

PIMS- EDM- Keegan Lowe (76)
SAS- Lukas Sutter (78)

Laurent Brossoit.  Photo: Jason Franson/Edmonton Jou
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)

SAS- Josh Nicholls- Toronto Maple Leafs (7th, 2010), Duncan Siemens- Colorado Avalanche (1st, 2011), Darren Dietz- Montreal Canadiens (5th, 2011), Matej Stransky- Dallas Stars (6th, 2011)

Injury Report:

EDM:#15, David Stephens, Upper body, week to week
#21, Travis Ewanyk, Upper body, 1 month +

SAS: #20, Josh Nicholls, week to week
#27, Brent Benson, day to day

Players away at International Tournaments:

EDM: Mark Pysyk (Canada WJHC), Martin Gernat (Slovakia WJHC), Kristians Pelss (Latvia WJHC), Curtis Lazar, Mason Geertsen, Tristan Jarry ( Team Pacific, U17)

REG: Andrey Makarov (Russia WJHC), Nick Zajac (Team West, U17)

Notes:  Oil Kings forward Michael St. Croix is 8th in league scoring (52), Dylan Wruck is tied for 13th (45).  Defenceman Martin Gernat is tied for 10th in rookie scoring in the WHL (25), Curtis Lazar is 15th (19). Gernat is also tied for 12th in scoring amongst defencemen.  Oil Kings netminder Laurent Brossoit is 4th in GAA (2.45), and is tied for 2nd in wins (20).  The Oil Kings have the second rated PK in the league, their PP is 3rd.  The Oil Kings have not won in Saskatoon since September 25, 2009.  This is the third of four meetings between the two clubs this year.  Pregame show at 5:45, the puck drops at 6:00 MT on the Team 1260.