Wednesday, October 17, 2012

GDB #11 vs Kamloops

Oil Kings (10 5-3-1-1) vs Blazers (10 9-0-0-1)

The Oil Kings face a stiff test tonight at Rexall Place as the WHL leading Kamloops Blazers make their first visit this season.  Edmonton is coming off their first shutout loss since March 12, 2011.  MacKenzie Skapski and the Kootenay Ice snapped their seven game regular season losing streak to the Kings with a 1-0 victory on Sunday night in Cranbrook.  The Oil Kings have dropped back to back games coming into tonight when they play the last remaining team that is yet to lose in regulation.  Last night in Red Deer the Blazers shut out the Rebels 4-0.  Colin Smith led the way with a goal and a pair of helpers, while Tim Bozon scored twice.  Taran Kozun made 32 saves to record his first career WHL shutout.
Photo: Hugo Yuen- Kamloops Dailey News
Last Year:  The Blazers took both games the teams played last year.  Both were at the Interior Savings Centre in the 'Loops.  Kamloops won 47 games last season on their way to a BC Division Championship.  After sweeping the Royals in the first round of the playoffs, they lost a hard fought seven game series to Portland, the eventual Western Conference Champions.
The Opposition: Like mentioned the Blazers are off to a fantastic start with nine wins in their first ten games.  They feature the top two scores in the WHL with JC Lipon (9-15-24) and Edmonton product Colin Smith (7-14-21).  Those two usually play with Montreal Canadiens pick Tim Bozon on one line while all three of their twenty year olds (Brendan Ranford, Jordan DePape, and Dylan Willick) make up a lethal top six.  The defence core is a well balanced unit that includes former Oil King Marek Hrbas.  In goal they are anchored by 19 year old Cole Cheveldave and his impressive 1.65 GAA.  The Blazers lead the WHL in goals for (45) and  have the fewest goals against (19).

Photo: Andy Devlin/Edmonton Oil Kings

Goals- EDM- TJ Foster (8)
KAM- JC Lipon (9)

Points- EDM- Michael St. Croix (14)
KAM- Lipon (24)

Wins- EDM- Laurent Brossoit (4)
KAM- Cole Cheveldave (6)

PIMS- EDM- Mitch Moroz (30)
KAM- Brady Gaudet (19)

Next Up: The Oil Kings are beginning a five game homestand here tonight.  Next up is a rematch of last year's WHL's Eastern Conference Championship when Moose Jaw is in town.  They also host Medicine Hat, Kelowna and Vancouver during this stretch.  The Blazers are in the midst of a five game roadtrip.  They are in Lethbridge on Friday and wrap up the trip Saturday night in Cranbrook.
Photo: Andy Devlin/Edmonton Oil Kings

EDM- Keegan Lowe- Carolina Hurricanes (3rd, 2011), Travis Ewanyk- Edmonton Oilers (3rd, 2011), Michael St. Croix- New York Rangers (4th, 2011), Martin Gernat- Oilers (5th, 2011), Laurent Brossoit- Calgary Flames (6th, 2011), Griffin Reinhart- New York Islanders (1st, 2012), Henrik Samuelsson- Phoenix Coyotes (1st, 2012), Mitch Moroz- Oilers (2nd, 2012).

KAM- Brendan Ranford- Philadelphia Flyers (7th, 2010, unsigned), Tim Bozon- Montreal Canadiens (3rd, 2012), Colin Smith- Colorado Avalanche (7th, 2012).
Draft Watch (NHL Central Scouting Preliminary Watch List)

A Skaters- Curtis Lazar (EDM),
B Skaters- Mason Geertsen (EDM)
C Skaters- Cody Corbett, Edgars Kulda, Ashton Sautner (EDM), Matt Needham (KAM)
B Goaltenders- Tristan Jarry (EDM)

Injury Report:

EDM: #7 Stephane Legault, lower body, week to week
#28 Martin Gernat, upper body, indefinite

KAM:  #17 Jordan DePape, upper body, 1 week
#33 Landon Cross, lower body, day to day

Roster Notes:  The Oil Kings went with the same line up the last two games (outside of rotating goalies).  The Blazers acquired defenceman Sam Grist from Tri City last week.
Notes: Michael St. Croix is tied for 10th in WHL scoring (14 points). TJ Foster is tied for 4th in goal scoring (8). Blazers forward JC Lipon leads the WHL in scoring (24), assists (15), and is second in goals (9).  Colin Smith is 2nd in scoring (21) and assists (14).  Tim Bozon is tied for 7th in scoring (15), Brendan Ranford is tied in 10th (14).  Cole Cheveldave is 2nd in GAA (1.65) and tied for 2nd in wins (6).  The Oil Kings power play ranks 4th, and  they have the top ranked penalty kill. The Blazer's PP is ranked 5th, their PK is 4th. Tonight is one of four games on the schedule. Pregame at 6:45, puck drop at 7:00 on the Team 1260.