The Edmonton Oil Kings head east into Saskatchewan for the Eastern Conference Championship against the CHL’s second-highest ranked team the Prince Albert Raiders. The Oil Kings will be facing an uphill battle as the Raiders posted the WHL’s best record, although, the two teams played each other fairly close throughout the year. Dylan Myskiw will get the start for Edmonton as he found his game against Calgary after losing it in the first round. No surprise here, Ian Scott will be the starting netminder for Prince Albert. Ian Scott posted the second best stats by a goalie this season, only behind Dustin Wolf of the Everett Silvertips.
We start the first period with barely any lights as Prince Albert have an older barn. Although we have a capacity crowd. The Oil Kings would get the first real scoring opportunity where they would get a short angle shot off on Scott. Scott would have trouble handling it as it fell behind him and started trickling towards the goal line. The referees would review it but would determine that puck didn’t cross the line. No goal.
Zach Russell would take the first penalty of the series with an undisciplined cross-check behind the play, putting the Raiders on the powerplay. The Raiders wouldn’t get the full two minutes of the powerplay due to a Sergei Sapego hooking minor. The Oil Kings would continue the trend and give away their advantage by taking a penalty on the powerplay. Quinn Benjafield was kind of forced to bring down a Raider player to prevent a breakaway, he got dinged or a tripping minor though. Both teams weren’t successful on their powerplays, not many opportunities as both teams struggled to break the blueline.
Will Warm would take a tripping penalty as he sticks his knee out and brings down Dante Hannoun, the Raiders wouldn’t score on the first 40 seconds and they would take the powerplay into the intermission.
After 20 minutes, we would have a scoreless first period and a pretty back and forth period as the Oil Kings don’t look unmatched in this serious quite yet. Edmonton actually has the best record in the WHL in the last 21 games as they have 19 wins. The Raiders would have a small shot advantage on the clock, 10-7 in their favor.
The Raiders would open the scoring early in the first period as Ozzy Wiesblatt would find the back of the net assisted by Brayden Pachal at the 1:48 mark of the second period. Edmonton would respond nicely with some pressure however with 15 minutes left in the second they would find themselves down 1-0. Unfortunately, the momentum they’ve gained after the goal would be short-lived as Will Warm would take another tripping penalty for the Oil Kings.
Not much else to talk about in the second period, Prince Albert had the best remaining chance with around 1:00 left in the first period. Edmonton would cough up the puck right in front of Myskiw and Myskiw would be forced to lay on his back and cover the puck. Edmonton wouldn’t generate much and would end the second period down 1-0 on the scoreboard and 21-15 on the shot clock despite the picture below saying 19-14.
Edmonton would start the third period down 1-0, pretty good road game so far all things considered. The Raiders have only lost 4 games at home all year.
Nothing doing before the media time out as the Oil Kings aren’t able to muster much offense, the Raiders are doing a good job keeping them to the outside, however, it is a one-goal game with 9:30 left in the third so it’s anybody’s game. The Raiders would have the best chance of the third period so far with 5:37 to go in the third period. Noah Gregor would pounce on a turnover and walk-in basically all alone on Myskiw, Myskiw would stand tall and turn him away though.
The Benjafield line would get a couple of good cracks at Scott but Scott, as he’s done all year, has shut the door, he hasn’t really been challenged tonight as the Raiders have kept the Oil Kings to the perimeter.
The Oil Kings would pull Myskiw with just under 2 minutes to go as they look to tie the game. Ian Scott would make some insane saves as he would battle through the traffic numerous times to come up with huge saves in the Raiders time of need.
The Raiders would hold onto the lead and win Game 1 with a score of 1-0, as it looks like we’ll have a good series ahead of us.
Three Stars of the Game:
3rd – Ozzy Wiesblatt
2nd – Dylan Myskiw
1st – Ian Scott