Moose Jaw-Edmonton — Game 2 pre-game

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Saturday, April 21, 2012

The Edmonton Oil Kings were without a pair of wingers at Saturday's practice at NAIT.

Dylan Wruck missed Game 1 with what is believed to be a shoulder injury that he sustained in Game 4 of the Brandon series. Given the time between series, it's possible that the injury is serious, but not much news is coming out of Oil Kings camp.

Kristians Pelss left Game 1 and did not return after he and Warriors winger Cody Beach were tangled up in front of the net. Beach appeared to pull Pelss down with him at the end of the play and Pelss' left leg got caught underneath him. He is listed as day-to-day by the OKs.

Defenceman Keegan Lowe was listed as day-to-day by Edmonton after he blocked a shot in the third period of Game 1, but he skated Saturday and should be fine for Game 2.

Defenceman Ashton Sautner was dressed for practice, but didn't take part and was believed to be ill.

The Warriors were all on the ice Saturday afternoon.

*  *  *  *

While Morgan Rielly received the bulk of the attention for his return to the Warriors line-up, Jordan Wyton also had a strong return to the action.

Wyton played without a cast and is just taping his hand for games.

He could have used some extra reinforcement when he took a shot by Michael St. Croix off of his hand, but said it didn't bother him much.

"It was cramping up a little, but it was fine," said Wyton who said that was lack of use more than any physical contact.

Wyton said he was in the right place at the right time for his goal, but smiled when it was suggested that like Henry Rowengartner in the movie Rookie of the Year, his broken hand might have helped his game.

"Who knows," laughed Wyton who has seven goals in 138 career WHL regular season games. "Maybe it will change that side of my game."

Torrin White didn't dress in Game 1, but is available if the Warriors decide to insert him into the line-up.

*  *  *  *

The Warriors may have a size advantage in the series, but the Oil Kings feel that teams have been trying to beat them with the physical side of the game for months.

"Teams have been coming at us hard since Christmas," said Oil Kings head coach Derek Laxdal.

Certainly the Kootenay Ice and the Brandon Wheat Kings are two teams that are never shy about throwing their weight around and the OKs handled them in four straight.

"Teams want to shut us down and obviously they're being coached to be physical against us," said Edmonton's Michael St. Croix. "I don't think that affects us. If anything it motivates us. We're not opposed to the physical style of game.

"Some people gave us the reputation that we shy away from the rough stuff going into the playoffs. Kootenay really tried to play that role. It was a tough series, but obviously we ended up on top. I think that's something that we just have to keep proving to people: when the game gets tough, we're not going to back down."

*  *  *  *

With Pelss and Wruck not at practice, Klarc Wilson remained on a line with Jordan Peddle and Rhett Rachinski.

Mitchell Moroz moved up to take Pelss' spot on the wing with St. Croix and Tyler Maxwell. Tristan Sieben then took Moroz' spot playing beside T.J. Foster and Travis Ewanyk,

The line of Henrik Samuelsson, Curtis Lazar and Stephane Legault didn't change understandably after the trio had a great Game 1.

While the Oil Kings were grateful to have Ewanyk return and Samuelsson join the team late, the side benefit is that the guys they knocked out of the line-up have tons of experience. Wilson, who filled in for Wruck, played 67 regular season games. If Sieben gets into the series, it would be his first playoff action of the year, but he did get into 34 games during the regular season.

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