Saturday, March 3, 2012

GDB #65 vs Swift Current

Oil Kings (64 42-15-3-4) vs Broncos (66 24-34-2-6)

The Oil Kings return to Rexall Place tonight to face the Swift Current Broncos for the final time this season.  Edmonton is coming off an impressive 3-1 win over the Kootenay Ice, Wednesday night in Cranbrook.  After a scoreless first period TJ Foster scored his 25th of the season in the second frame to put the Kings on the board.  Third period tallies from Tyler Maxwell and Jordan Peddle were enough to seal the W despite a late five on three goal from Max Reinhart.  Laurent Brossoit was outstanding being named first star stopping 32 of 33 Ice shots.  It was the third straight win for the Oil Kings.  Tonight they will wear special one-off sweaters, as they support Scouts Canada.

The Broncos are coming off a shut out win, 4-0 in Red Deer over the Rebels last night.  Twenty year old Brad Hoban led the way with a goal and a couple assists, former Oil King Jon Groenheyde made 45 saves for his second shut out of the season and career.  The win snapped a four game losing streak for the Broncos, it was their first regulation win since February 18th win they beat the Blades 8-3

Photo: Edmonton Oil Kings
Season Series: Edmonton has taken all three previous games with the Broncos this year.  Last time these teams hooked up in Swift Current the game had a nasty end when Bronco Colby Cave finished a check on Mason Geertsen who was in an awkward position.  The hit sent Geertsen hard into the boards in front of the Oil King bench, Curtis Lazar immediately jumped in an beat up Cave as the trainers and doctors tended to Geertsen.  In the end it looked worse than the damage as Geertsen spent the night in a Swift Current hospital, but was released and only missed a week or so with a minor injury.  According to the Broncos lead the WHL with 85 fights, the Oil Kings are tied for second with tilts.

Up Next: Tonight marks the opening of the Kings final homestand of the season (they do have a one off with Red Deer next weekend as part of a home and home).  They will face the Saskatoon Blades tomorrow night before meeting the Moose Jaw Warriors in a showdown for top spot in the East on Wednesday.  The Broncos head back to Speedy Creek for a game with the Ice on Tuesday night.

Stretch Drive: The Kings have seven games left after tonight. Three at home (Saskatoon, Moose Jaw, Red Deer), and four on the road (Red Deer, Kootenay, Medicine Hat, Red Deer). The Kings have clinched a playoff spot and lead the Eastern Conference by four points over Moose Jaw. They lead the Central Division by six points over Medicine Hat but have two games in hand on the Tigers.

The Broncos have five games left after tonight. Three at home (Kootenay, Prince Albert, Saskatoon), and two on the road (Prince Albert, Saskatoon). The Broncos are tenth in the Eastern Conference with 56 points. They have been eliminated from playoff contention.  They trail 9th place Red Deer by eight points, and are three up on 11th place PA.

Photo: Edmonton Oil Kings

Goals- EDM- Michael St. Croix (39)
SC- Taylor Vause (35)

Points- EDM- St. Croix (96)
SC- Vause (78)

Wins- EDM- Laurent Brossoit (36)
SC- Jon Groenheyde (21)

PIMS- EDM- Keegan Lowe (129)
SC- Andy Blanke (154)


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)

SC- Adam Lowery- Winnipeg Jets (3rd, 2011), Reece Scarlett- New Jersey Devils (6th, 2011), Richard Nedomiel- Detroit Red Wings (6th, 2011).

Injury Report:

EDM: #22, Ryan Dech, Lower body, day to day

SC: #5, Jordan Evans, Upper body, 1 month+
#13, Shea Howorko, Upper body, week to week
#17, Adam Lowry, Upper body, 2-3 weeks

Photo: Edmonton Oil Kings
Notes: Oil Kings forward Michael St. Croix is 8th in league scoring (96), Dylan Wruck is 16th (76). Defenceman Martin Gernat is 8th in rookie scoring (47) and he is 8th in scoring amongst defencemen. Oil Kings netminder Laurent Brossoit is 3rd in GAA (2.48), and is 3rd in wins (36). For Swift Current, Taylor Vause is 14th in scoring (78). Andy Blanke is 4th in PIMs (154).  Coda Gordon is tied for 6th in rookie scoring (50), Graham Black is 10th (39).  Reece Scarlett is tied for 12th in scoring amongst defencemen (45), Richard Nedomel is tied for 14th (43). This is the fourth and final meeting between the two clubs this year. Pregame show at 6:45, the puck drops at 7:00 on the Team 1260.