Friday, March 9, 2012

GDB #68 @ Red Deer

Oil Kings (67 45-15-3-4) vs Rebels (66 30-30-1-5)

The Oil Kings and Rebels open a home and home series tonight in Red Deer.  The Kings, winners of six straight games, are coming off a thrilling 3-2 overtime win over the Moose Jaw Warriors.  Kristians Pelss netted the winner 1:02 into overtime with his 25th of the season.  Stephane Legault scored a pair of goals for Edmonton in the victory which clinched their first Central Division Championship. 

It has been a trying season for the Rebels, as injuries throughout the year have decimated their lineup.  They are coming off a 3-2 loss on Tuesday night at home against Medicine Hat.  Mat Dumba scored a goal and assist in the loss.  The Rebels basically need to win out to have any shot at a playoff spot as they trail Brandon by 10 points with six games left.

Photo: Edmonton Oil Kings
Season Series: The Rebels have defeated the Oil Kings twice in the three matchups so far this season.  They won opening night 4-3 in OT in Red Deer, and also posted a 4-3 victory in a shoot out in Edmonton on January 8.  The Oil Kings won the last meeting 3-2 in Edmonton on February 3.  The teams play again tomorrow night at Rexall Place and wrap up the season next Saturday in Red Deer.

Up Next: The Kings play their final home game of the season tomorrow night when these two teams play the back half of the home and home.  It is fan appreciation night at Rexall Place, and the Oil Kings are expecting a large crowd, maybe big enough to challenge the record for largest crowd in Oil Kings history.

Stretch Drive: The Kings have four games left after tonight. One at home (Red Deer), and three on the road (Kootenay, Medicine Hat, Red Deer). They have clinched a playoff spot and lead the Eastern Conference by seven points over Moose Jaw. They have clinched the Central Division title as well.

The Rebels have five games left after tonight. Two at home (Lethbridge, Edmonton), and three on the road (Edmonton, Calgary, Medicine Hat). Red Deer sits ninth in the Eastern Conference ten points behind the Wheat Kings.  Brandon's magic number to eliminate Red Deer is three.
Photo: Edmonton Oil Kings

Goals- EDM- Michael St. Croix (41)
RD- Jon Persson (22)

Points- EDM- St. Croix (98)
RD- Persson (54)

Wins- EDM- Laurent Brossoit (38)
RD- Devan Dubyk (16)

PIMS- EDM- Keegan Lowe (133)
RD- Alex Petrovic (118)


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)

RD- Justin Weller- Phoenix Coyotes (4th, 2009), Alex Petrovic- Florida Panthers (2nd, 2010), John Persson- New York Islanders (5th, 2011)

Injury Report:

EDM: None to report

RD: #3, Aaron Borejko, Upper body, 1 month+
#8, Kayle Doetzel, Upper body, week to week
#10, Turner Elson, Upper body, week to week
#12, Colten Mayor, Upper body, 1 month+
#16, Joel Hamilton, Upper body, 1 month+
#26, Justin Weller, Upper body, 1 month+
#35, Patrik Bartosak, Upper body, season ending

Photo: Edmonton Oil Kings
Notes: Oil Kings forward Michael St. Croix is 8th in league scoring (98), Dylan Wruck is tied in 16th (77). Defenceman Martin Gernat is 8th in rookie scoring (48) and he is tied in 10th in scoring amongst defencemen. Oil Kings netminder Laurent Brossoit is tied in 2nd in GAA (2.45), and is 2nd in wins (38). For Red Deer, Mat Dumba is 8th in defencemen scoring (50), Alex Petrovic is 17th (42).  Patrik Bartosak is 11th in GAA (2.74).   This is the fourth of six meetings between the two clubs this year. Pregame show at 7:15, the puck drops at 7:30 on the Team 1260.