(Calgary, AB) The Edmonton Oil Kings have gotten stronger the more they have gotten to know their opponents in the 2019 WHL playoffs. That was surely the case in Game 4 against the Calgary Hitmen Wednesday night.
The Oil Kings scored twice in the first and three times in the third, cruising to a 6-0 win Game 4 and a four-game sweep of the Calgary Hitmen.
While the Hitmen gave them everything they could handle in the first three games of the series, Game 4 was all Oil Kings.
Despite being swept, two of the games went to overtime, leaving Calgary to wonder what might have been.
“Going back to Game 1, we were so close. That would have been big, confidence-wise, to know we could get it done on the road. The second game, things didn’t happen in our favor and last game we were so close,” Calgary captain Mark Kastelic told hitmenhockey.com
As has been the case of late, Edmonton had a very balanced attack with six different players scoring and all but four skaters hitting the score sheet in Game 4.
Quinn Benjafield, Jake Neighbours and Andrew Fyten led the way with a goal and an assist each.
Dylan Myskiw was strong in net again for Edmonton, stopping all 18 shots for his first career playoff shutout.
In their 12th season of the franchise, Edmonton has gotten to the playoffs eight times and out of the first round only three times.
Those three times were their dominant three-year run in the Eastern Conference where they got to the final every time, won the Ed Chynoweth cup twice and the Memorial Cup once.
They now await the winner of the East Division bracket with Prince Albert and Saskatoon taking each other on.
Scott Atkinson got the scoring going just 4:56 into the game.
Benjafield then gave Edmonton a two-goal lead as he went in alone on Calgary goalie Jack McNaughton and beat him with a slick backhand.
In the second, rather than a strong push back from the home team, it was three strikes from the Central Division regular season champions.
First, Fyten got a shot on McNaughton with Neighbours parked in front. The 16-year-old then positioned himself for the rebound and piled home his third of the series.
Then on the power play, Vince Loschiavo powered home a one-timer off a feed from Benjafield for a 4-0 lead.
The overtime hero from Game 3 then got in on the action late in the second.
Wyatt McLeod followed up a 2-on-1 rush by Zach Russell and Josh Williams, gathering up the rebound, spinning and beating McNaughton for the 5-0 lead.
After 40 minutes, McNaughton gave up the Calgary net for Carl Stankowski. McNaughton allowed five goals on 29 shots.
Edmonton greeted Stankowski with another goal. Fyten drove the net and chipped in a nice pass from David Kope for the 6-0 lead under six minutes into the third.
The end result on Wednesday was a 6-0 Edmonton win and a 4-0 series win. They out shot the Hitmen 37-18.
Calgary sees overage forwards Jake Kryski, Kaden Elder and Luke Coleman move on.
1999-born forward Kastelic was sad to see it end but came away with a great experience.
“We had an unbelievable year. We’ve overcome so much. We’ve been through it all together and we’re just so proud of where we came from the start of the year until now. At the same time, we want to remember this feeling because it’s not very fun to be on the losing side of things. We are going to remember this going into next year.”