After a lengthy break due to the end of the season. Round 1 of the WHL Playoffs for the Central Division winning Edmonton Oil Kings kicked off Saturday night against Medicine Hat.
Myskiw would get the start for Edmonton. Sogaard for the Tigers.
Edmonton would get off to an amazing start in the first 10 minutes, outshooting the Tigers 9-1 to take control early on. Mads Sogaard would hold his ground and keep the game scoreless.
Medicine Hat would be the first team to go on the power play after a knee on knee hit by Scott Atkinson with 2:48 left to go in the first.
They wouldn’t capitalize and the game would go into the second period scoreless. Shots on goal 13-9 in favour of Edmonton.
Take of two periods. Edmonton dominated the first half but couldn’t capitalize on any opportunities. Medicine Hat dominated the second half including a powerplay but Miskiw held strong.
4 minutes into the second frame it’s been pretty back and forth. Edmonton would then get their opportunity on the powerplay after tripping penalty by Trevor Longo. Only 26 seconds into that powerplay though James Hamblin and Tyler Preziuso would score on a two on one. Giving the Tigers a 1-0 lead on a SHG.
Edmonton would be gifted a 5-3 on that same powerplay for 19 seconds after a James Hamblin tripping penalty. They wouldn’t score on either of those opportunities. The Tigers actually had better chances.
Halfway through the game. The Oil Kings lead the Tigers 29-17 in shots but trail on the scoreboard. Sogaard is absolutely standing on his head for the Tigers and as mentioned in the preview, can be the difference maker in this series.
The Popeyes minute (If the OilKings score every fan in attendance gets a Popeyes coupon) proved lethal. Medicine Hat would pot another from a nice snipe by Hayden Ostir putting the Tigers up 2-0.
Edmonton keeps up the pressure ending the period dominating the shot clock but trail 2-0 on the scoreboard. The Oil Kings through 40 would have a 36-22 advantage in shots.
The third for the Oil Kings would start terrible as veteran Andrew Fyten would lose an edge going into the corner and hobble off the ice. He would return without missing a shift.
Hayden Ostir would walk in all alone after an Oil Kings turnover and thankfully Myskiw would turn him aside to keep the game 2-0 in favour of the Tigers.
Half way through the third the Oil Kings would still be trailing by 2 in a very close back and forth period. I was expecting more of a pushback from the Oil Kings to begin the period, but Medicine Hat seems to be the hungrier team tonight.
Finally after 47 shots and only two minutes left the Oil Kings would pull within one. Josh Williams would find the loose puck and poke it in. Making for an interesting finish.
Medicine Hat with 1:32 left would take a puck out of glass penalty providing an excellent opportunity for the Oil Kings.
The Oil Kings however wouldn’t capitalize and would hand Game 1 over to Medicine Hat with a final score of 2-1.
The Oil Kings were the much better team tonight despite the fact that they were very sloppy. Passes weren’t tape to tape, no consistent pressure. Mistakes and turnovers led to the Tigers goals and they made the most of them.
If the Oil Kings play like that the rest of the series, they should win. Game 2 will go Sunday night from Ice District at 6PM. Be there!
Three Stars of the Game
3rd - James Hamblin
2nd - Dylan Myskiw
1st - Mads Sogaard