The Kootenay Ice (25-38-5-1) made their way up north to face off against the Edmonton Oil Kings (20-41-6-2) in a Sunday afternoon game. Both teams out of the playoff picture and fighting for momentum going into next season with their young teams. Kootenay elected to go with their young 2000-born goalie Duncan McGovern. McGovern came into the game with 12 wins and an .890 sv%. Edmonton started 1998 Josh Dechaine who has been making consistent starts since returning to the team from the AJHL.
A fairly slow back and forth first period of play commenced with both teams managing 11 shots each and the period ending with the score being 1-1. Oil Kings defenseman Conner McDonald opened the scoring with his ninth of the season, a nice read by McDonald to get up and trail the rush and locate Atkinson’s rebound. While the Kootenay Ice’s Blake Allan scores his first WHL goal, getting his stick on a Keenan Taphorn shot, the Humboldt native has posted 33 points in 42 games with the Saskatoon Blazers this year before being called up. This was his second game with the Ice.
Kootenay went into the second period on a 2:50 second power play and were awarded a 5-on-3 after an Oil Kings too many men call but they were unable to convert. Shortly after the power plays, Kootenay’s Martin Bodak scored his seventh of the season off a Cameron Hausinger pass – making no mistake with his shot from the slot. Edmonton found an answer around the mid-way point of the frame. Leading scorer Trey Fix-Wolansky would bury his 30th of the season – the first time he has hit this milestone in his WHL career. A late power play goal by Brett Kemp would give the Oil Kings a 3-2 lead going into the 3rd, and a late penalty by Kemp would give the Ice a long power play opportunity to start the frame. Despite being down, Kootenay led in shots with 28 with 17 in the second period, Edmonton would have 20 shots of their own.
Edmonton would take this lead into the final minute of the third period before Cameron Hausinger redirected Brad Ginnell’s point shot for his second point of the game. The goal came with 27 second left in the period and sent the game into overtime.
Edmonton’s record in games settled in overtime was 5-6 with their last OT win against Alberta rival the Calgary Hitmen. Kootenay was 6-4 in overtime periods, taking an overtime loss against the Regina Pats on March 9th.
Wyatt McLeod would end the overtime frame at the 3:37 mark, his first OT goal of his career and second goal of the season.
Trey-Fix Wolansky would end up with three points in the game including the primary assist on McLeod’s overtime winner, currently sits at 83 points on the year and has made himself a contender for a potential late draft pick.
Edmonton’s strong penalty kill was key in the win, stopping all four of Kootenay’s power play opportunities while scoring a power play goal of their own on their only man advantage.
Jake Neighbours suited up in his eighth game with the team and earned more minutes as the game went on. Neighbours has been impressive since joining the Oil Kings sifter his season ended. He currently has two assists in those games but has exerted himself physically better than any 15-year-old in the league has.
Edmonton’s next game is at home against central division rival the Lethbridge Hurricanes on March 13th, while Kootenay continues there Alberta road trip against the Calgary Hitmen on March 14th.