The Edmonton Oil Kings got here away with an enormous win over the Red Deer Rebels to open up their 2023-24 marketing campaign and did it away from residence with a 4-2 victory over one of many strongest groups within the Western Hockey League (WHL) final season. Aside from strong goaltending, the play all through your entire lineup was superb, and the group solely had a few errors resulting in objectives. Overall, this new Oil Kings group appears a lot stronger and way more motivated than final season. With one other sport the next day, will probably be powerful to journey again residence and play similar to that once more, however they’ll profit from their residence crowd. Hopefully, they’ll begin the season with a two-game profitable streak.
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Kian Bell made his WHL debut, having solely hung out within the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL), whereas Adam Jecho and Blake Fiddler performed their first video games on the Major Junior stage. Jecho had an help, Bell had the game-winning purpose, and Fiddler performed properly. Kolby Hay was phenomenal between the pipes, stopping 36 of 38 pictures towards. Forward Aidan Litke was the night time’s first star, scoring two objectives and including an help within the win. This was additionally his first sport as an Oil King since between traded from the Portland Winterhawks.
The Oil Kings struck first, however not earlier than the Rebels got here out swinging. They had extra pictures and dominated the play for the primary 5 minutes of the sport. That was till Marshall Finnie opened the scoring and put up the primary purpose of the season for the Oil Kings, giving the group an early 1-0 lead. On the person benefit, although, Kai Uchacz tied the sport with simply over 5 minutes left within the first interval, and the groups entered the second interval all tied up.
The second interval was entertaining, however there was just one purpose. Litke began off his night time placing the Oil Kings up 2-1 simply 4 and a half minutes into the interval, and the rating stayed that method heading into the third. While the Rebels didn’t again down simply, they weren’t capable of get the sport tied again up at any level. Bell scored to make it 3-1 on the powerplay late within the interval, however the Rebels made it 3-2 with simply two minutes and 19 seconds remaining within the third. The Oil Kings shut it down, and Litke banged residence his second purpose on an empty internet and third level of the night time to take the sport 4-2.
Team’s Focus Heading Into Next Matchup
The Rebels are harmful offensively, and so they had been capable of pepper Hay with pictures and preserve him on his toes all night time lengthy. Fortunately for the Oil Kings, he stood on his head and the group was capable of shut out the victory. Heading into their second sport, the Oil Kings must ensure that they keep sound within the defensive zone. They performed properly, however the Rebels are going to have a chip on their shoulder as they give the impression of being to even the season collection. Any slip-up in their very own finish and the Rebels can be placing pucks at the back of the web repeatedly with none points.
The Oil Kings additionally should deal with ending their probabilities. They had a ton of golden alternatives they couldn’t get behind Rebels goaltender Kyle Kelsey. Heading into their second assembly, extra pictures ought to be one other essential focus for them. They had been capable of hearth off 33 pictures, however not less than half of them got here from non-scoring areas. If they will discover methods to get to the center of the ice and hearth the puck, they gained’t have any subject profitable once more and beginning the season 2-0.
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