Well, there you have it.
It was in the back of our minds before the game and now it’s a reality. The Edmonton Oil Kings 3-1 victory over the Red Deer Rebels on Saturday night improves their team record to 6-0 on the season.
This win marks the first time in franchise history the Oil Kings start a season 6-0.
The game was filled with exciting two-way action that featured a spirited fight, a few big hits, saves, and great goals.
The Oil Kings were strong again but had to make do without the presence of their top scorer, Dylan Guenther.
On the power play, the Oil Kings were able to score twice.
Captain Scott Atkinson made his return to the lineup and wasted no time in making an impact as he found the back of the net early in the first period, putting his team ahead 1-0.
Matthew Robertson and Jalen Luypen both scored for the Oil Kings in the second period to give the team a comfortable 3-0 cushion heading into the third.
The Rebels were right with the Oil Kings, but they sure had rotten puck luck.
In the first 40 minutes of play, the Rebels hit two posts and had one goal disallowed due to Oil Kings goaltender Sebastian Cossa’s pad being pushed into the net with the puck.
“I thought we played pretty good, really, we just have a hard time scoring,” said Rebels Head Coach Brent Sutter. “They (Oil Kings) got two power-play goals again on us. We haven’t scored on our power play enough and our penalty killing hasn’t been, obviously not very good.”
The Rebels mustered a bit of a late-game push with a power-play goal from Kalan Lind at 13:14 in the third period. But it wasn’t enough to get over the hump.
Make no mistake, the final score doesn’t do the Rebels justice due to the commendable effort the team brought forth tonight. The game was relatively close for the majority of the time. Some undisciplined penalties by Red Deer were also a factor that did them in. The Oil Kings responded accordingly with two of their three goals coming from the man advantage. Special teams were a key focus.
“That’s a very good team we’re playing, right? So, when you get those opportunities, you gotta try to get a scoring chance out of it, “said Sutter.
Sutter was happy with his team’s effort nonetheless and it is clear to him what the Rebels need to work on moving forward.
“I thought our effort was very good and we just gotta continue to work on our specialty teams and continue to play the right way five on five.”
Three Stars of the Game
The third star of the game was Sebastian Cossa. He made 26 saves on the night. Although his shutout was spoiled in the third period, Cossa did not allow a single puck to cross the goal line of his net for quite some time prior to tonight’s game. His last goal against before Saturday night’s game against Red Deer came against the Medicine Hat Tigers on March 6th in the first period.
The second star of the game was rookie forward Kalan Lind of the Rebels. He scored his first WHL goal and got into a fight in the second period. Not a bad night at all. Lind was lost in excitement during the incredibly surreal moment.
“I was pretty excited, I kinda blacked out until I looked up at the jumbotron and I could see the replay,” explained Lind.
The first star of the game was Jalen Luypen. He scored his fourth goal of the season and added an assist as well.