Wednesday, January 4, 2012

GDB #40 vs Lethbridge

Oil Kings (39 25-10-1-3) vs Hurricanes (41 15-25-0-1)

The Oil Kings return to Rexall Place to open up a three game homestand against the Lethbridge Hurricanes.  The Kings are coming of their four game World Junior road trip which saw them go 2-1-0-1.   Last time out they lost 5-2 in Regina.  The Kings were unable to beat the Pats at all this year, going 0-4 after sweeping them last season.  Newly minted WHL Player of the Month, Michael St. Croix stretched his point streak to five games with a pair of goals.  St. Croix now has points in 15 of his last 17 games.  He has 30 points over that stretch and has moved into third in league scoring.  This will mark the final time the Oil Kings will be missing six players (Pysyk, Pelss, Gernat, Lazar, Geertsen, and Jarry) who are all involved with international tournaments.  Curtis Lazar, Mason Geertsen, and Tristan Jarry finished 5th with Team Pacific at the U17 World Hockey Challenge.  Kristians Pelss and Team Latvia defeated Denmark 2-1 in OT to finish 9th in the World Junior Hockey Championships, while Martin Gernat and the Slovaks face the Czech Republic in the 5-6 game tonight.  Mark Pysyk and Team Canada play Finland for the Bronze tomorrow afternoon.

Photo Andy Devlin/Edmonton Oil Kings
 The game tonight features the East leading Oil Kings and the basement dwelling Hurricanes.  Lethbridge has 31 points in 41 games and are tied with Prince Albert for the last spot in the East division.  They snapped a three game losing streak last time out with a 7-2 win over the Kootenay Ice.  Daniel Johnston led the way with three assists.  Lethbridge has earned a victory against Edmonton earlier this year, they can play a very physical brand of hockey and will look to grind the Oil Kings speedy forwards.

Photo Andy Devlin/Edmonton Oil Kings
Season Series: The Oil Kings have beaten the Hurricanes three times so far this season.  Edmonton is 3-1 against Lethbridge with 5-1, 10-3, and 5-2 victories.  The Hurricanes defeated the Kings 5-2 in Lethbridge in November.  The teams will play once more this year in Edmonton on February 26th.

Next Up:  The Oil Kings will continue their three game homestand on Saturday night.  They face former Oil King netminder Jon Groenheyde and the Swift Current Broncos.  The Hurricanes return home to play Medicine Hat Thursday before embarking on a six game road trip.


Goals- EDM- Michael St. Croix (24)
LET- Cam Braes (21)

Points- EDM- St. Croix (62)
LET- Braes (40)

Wins- EDM- Laurent Brossoit (22)
LET- Damian Ketlo (11)

PIMS- EDM- Keegan Lowe (88)
LET- Graham Hood (71)


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)

LET- Brody Sutter- Carolina Hurricanes (7th, 2011)

Injury Report:

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

LET: #2, Spencer Galbraith, Upper body, 1 week
#15, Michael Sofillas, Upper body, 1 month +
#16, Austin Fyten, Lower body, 1 month +
#26, Max Moline, Lower body, 1 month +

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)

LET: Macoy Erkamps, Jay Merkley (Team Pacific, U17), Craig Leverton (Team West, U17)

Notes: Oil Kings forward Michael St. Croix is 3rdin league scoring (62), Dylan Wruck is 11th (50). Defenceman Martin Gernat is12th in rookie scoring in the WHL (25), Curtis Lazar is tied for 18th (19). Gernat is tied for 14th in scoring amongst defencemen. Oil Kings netminder Laurent Brossoit is tied for 5th in GAA (2.48), and is tied for 3rd wins (22). The Oil Kings have the second rated PK in the league, their PP is tied for 2nd.  This is the fifth of six meetings between the two clubs this year. Pregame show at 6:45, the puck drops at 7:00 on the Team