The puck has finally dropped on the Edmonton Oil Kings season as they once again find themselves starting the campaign with a home-and-home against the Red Deer Rebels, this time they find themselves on the road in Red Deer.
Edmonton will start the season with a new captain as Trey Fix-Wolansky has moved on from the WHL, he recently got assigned today to the Cleveland Monsters after getting a taste of the Columbus Blue Jackets camp. Trey Fix-Wolansky led the Oil Kings last season in points with 102. Edmonton has attempted to replace some of that production with the acquisition of Riley Sawchuk from the Tri-City Americans over the summer.
The Oil Kings would go with 20-year old goalie Dylan Myskiw in net against a very young Red Deer Rebels team that is currently in a transition year. Red Deer would go with Ethan Anders who backstopped them 57 games last year with a 3.09GAA and 0.907SV%.
Edmonton looking to defend their WHL Central Division Championship would go down early in the first game of the year to an eager Red Deer Rebels team. Dallon Melin would put one past Myskiw 11:26 into the first period, assisted by Keaton Sorensen as the Rebels would have the Oil Kings on the ropes early.
However, the Oil Kings wouldn’t stay down for long as they looked like a team that simply had to get into the game. Edmonton would dominate the last 5 minutes of the first period as newly named captain Scott Atkinson would get his first of the season on the powerplay, assisted by Wyatt McLeod and Dylan Guenther.
The Oil Kings wouldn’t stop there, with 14 seconds left in the first period Josh Williams would bang in a puck past Anders, assisted by Vladimir Alistrov as Edmonton would get their first lead of the 2019-2020 season.
They continued that hot start into the second period as Scott Atkinson would pot his second of the game, assisted by Josh Williams and Vladimir Alistrov. A terrific night for that line already as they seem to be clicking.
Red Deer wouldn’t go silent into the night as they started the third period with some physical play. The Rebels were finishing their hits in all three zones as you could see the home team gain momentum. They would turn that momentum into a goal that would cut the Oil Kings lead to one. Brett Davis would put one by Myskiw who was very busy up to this point in the third. Ethan Sakowich and Cameron Hausinger would get the assists on the goal.
As good teams do, the Oil Kings would respond before this game could slip away from them. David Kope would get the insurance marker on the doorstep as Jake Neighbours and Riley Sawchuk would get their first points of the new season. Edmonton would have a 4-2 lead with just over 2 minutes left in the game.
The Oil Kings would get their first win of the new season as they would hold onto a 4-2 lead to the final whistle. Edmonton would outshoot the Rebels 32-29 and go 1/3 on the powerplay in their season opener.
These two teams will see each other just over 12 hours from the final horn as the Red Deer Rebels will visit the Oil Kings Saturday afternoon as Edmonton will raise their WHL Central Division banner at Rogers Place.
- Scott Atkinson
- Brett Davis
- Vladimir Alistrov
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