The Edmonton Oil Kings jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the opening 2 ½ minutes and went on to a 5-0 victory over the Brandon Wheat Kings in Game One of their Eastern Conference semifinal on Thursday night.
Brett Pollock and Mads Eller scored goals 35 seconds apart early in the first period for the Oil Kings, with Pollock and Edgars Kulda both finishing the contest with a goal and an assist each.
“I thought the first ten minutes of the first, we were guilty of a couple of things. Bad start, gave up the goal, gave up the goal on the bump-up shift,” said Brandon GM/Coach Kelly McCrimmon on CKLQ’s post-game show, “And then I thought we stood around awestruck for the rest of the first half of the period.”
Ashton Sautner and Henrik Samuelsson also scored for the Oil Kings in Thursday’s contest while Tristan Jarry stopped 15 shots for his first career playoff shutout.
Despite generating just 15 shots, McCrimmon feels his team did create some offensive opportunities.
“We missed the net on a lot of opportunity, we didn’t make sharp plays around the net,” said McCrimmon, “A win in here is probably going to have to look like a 3-2 win, and I thought we had enough chances to get some goals.”
Down 4-0 after 40 minutes, the third period became a write-off for the Wheat Kings due to continuous trips to the penalty box.
Brandon was shorthanded to start the period after Jayce Hawryluk took a cross-checking penalty at the end of the middle frame, and the Wheat Kings took five more minor penalties before the end of the game – leaving them shorthand for more than half of the third period.
|Jordan Papirny made his first ever WHL start |
in his hometown in Game One
“It was disappointing because, for me, having a push in the third, winning the period,” said McCrimmon, “That’s where you start when you’re working on a comeback is win the period and we didn’t give ourselves any opportunity to do that at all.”
Jordan Papirny made 40 saves in what was his first ever WHL start in his hometown of Edmonton while prospect Logan Thompson served as Papirny’s backup after Curtis Honey was scratched for the Wheat Kings due to an upper body injury.
Brandon will look to rebound in Game Two of the Best-of-Seven series on Saturday afternoon at Rexall Place (12:35 p.m., 880 CKLQ).
Chaff...Curtis Lazar and Griffin Reinhart both had a pair of assists for Edmonton...Brandon went 0-for-2 on the power-play while Edmonton finished 2-for-7...the Brandon defence pair of Taylor Green and Colton Waltz were on the ice for all three of the Oil Kings’ even strength goals, leaving both players minus-three on the night...the Wheat Kings were shut out twice during the regular season.