The streak continues for the Edmonton Oil Kings after a 2-1 shootout victory over the Portland Winterhawks. Since losing 5-2 on home ice against the Lethbridge Hurricanes, Brad Lauer’s men have now taken a point in each of their last seven games with five of them being wins.
Things were a little less chaotic on Sunday afternoon compared to the Saturday night goal-fest versus the Calgary Hitmen. The two goaltenders, Sebastian Cossa and Joel Hofer, each performed at a high level allowing only a goal each in regulation and overtime.
The Oil Kings were the ones to break the deadlock. Josh Williams and Matthew Robertson found themselves on an odd man rush midway through the first period. The chance was finished off by the New York Rangers prospect, Robertson, after Williams fed by backdoor giving Hofer little opportunity to stop him.
The red hot Carter Souch came close to making it 2-0 on a delayed penalty call but was denied by the outstretched Winterhawks netminder. A little more on Souch later on.
Both teams kept it close in the second period with neither side adding to the scoreline. Cossa was called into action 12 times and made several quality stops in close using his 6-foot-5 structure to keep the lead.
“He was very steady, again, tonight,” said Assistant Coach Luke Pierce on the Oil Kings rookie netminder. “Obviously, with his size when he digs in and battles in his crease like he did today he’s tough to beat.”
“A really good bounce back from a start that he probably wasn’t happy with in Regina.”
Souch came close once again late in the second period, but Hofer got the beat of him with a glove save. It wasn’t until five minutes into the final frame when the next goal was scored.
A heavy snapshot from Mason Mannek was tipped by Cossa courtesy of captain Johnny Ludvig. There wasn’t much Cossa could’ve to not concede this one with at least four or five players obstructing his view.
The Oil Kings responded well to the goal forcing Hofer into action on a couple of occasions. David Kope, who was wearing a bubble mask after taking a shot to the face against Calgary, came closest but his tipped shot just brushed past the post.
With the score tied at 1-1 after 60 minutes, the rematch of the 2012, 2013 and 2014 WHL Finals was heading to overtime.
A mistake by Liam Keeler almost led to the game-winning-goal. Keeler turned the puck over from his blue line which sent Cross Hanas on a clear breakaway. The Oil Kings forward did recover and prevented the goal but was called for a slash sending the Winterhawks to the power play.
Seth Jarvis came close to sending the Winterhawks home happy; however, he was stopped by Cossa’s crossbar.
In the shootout, Souch was finally able to beat Hofer on his third attempt which turned out to be the winning goal. Cossa stopped all three of the Winterhawks shooters to pick up his second win of the season and first on home ice.
“It was very nice to get my first home game at Rogers tonight,” expressed Cossa. “There was a good atmosphere in there, especially after we won.”
With the win, the Oil Kings now move to 7-1-3 on the season and sit in his place in the Central Division. Tonight, their power play was quite going 0-for-3. However, on the flip side, their penalty kill was perfect stopping the Winterhawks on the advantage on all four occasions.
Your three stars of the game 1) Carter Souch 2) Sebastian Cossa 3) Joel Hofer.