The Edmonton Oil Kings are potent enough that they don’t need help to get going.
Friday night the Moose Jaw Warriors were playing the defending WHL champions close territorially and to a 1-1 tie on the scoreboard midway through the game.
A needless Warriors penalty turned into an Oil Kings’ power play goal in short order. That was the first of four unanswered goals as the Oil Kings beat the Warriors 5-1.
It was the first game of the Warriors’ seven-game road trip. Their record drops to 8-11-3-3 on the season. They will play the Red Deer Rebels Saturday.
“It was good for quite awhile. A couple of penalties hurt us and their power play is pretty good; it’s pretty potent,” said Warriors head coach Mike Stothers. “They had a five-on-three and a four-on-three and apparently we couldn’t draw any penalties.”
The Oil Kings grabbed a 1-0 lead when Michael St. Croix scored on a five-on-three power play.
The Warriors battled back in the second period and were rewarded for some quality forechecking when Tanner Eberle tied the game. It took Eberle two tries in front to beat Edmonton’s Laurent Brossoit after a nice back-door pass by Morgan Rielly.
“We had some chances. We had a couple of high tips, we hit a post. We had some scrambles around the net,” said Stothers. “I thought we hung in there and tried to pay the price in those dirty areas. Brossoit did a good job of taking away the bottom of the net and we weren’t able to lift it over him.”
The Warriors had some momentum when Bryson Gore took a goaltender interference penalty away from the puck. Brossoit made a lot of the contact as Gore skated past the Oil Kings’ crease.
“It just seemed like everything changed after that,” said Stothers. “You take penalties against good teams they tend to hurt you. Guys like St. Croix live for the extra ice.”
A mere 17 seconds after the Gore penalty, Edmonton defenceman Griffin Reinhart’s shot went off of the post, off Paulic’s leg and in.
The Oil Kings seized the momentum after getting the go-ahead goal. T.J. Foster scored with 1:04 left in the second period. Keegan Lowe scored the Oil Kings’ fourth goal on a rebound in front of the net 2:38 into the third period. Brandon Baddock also scored for the Oil Kings.
Paulic made 35 saves in the loss. Brossoit finished with 22 saves for the Oil Kings.