Oil Kings look flat in playoff rematch, get crushed by Raiders 6-3

The Oil Kings got their first crack at revenge after being ousted by the Prince Albert Raiders in six games during the second round of the playoffs last season but came out flat losing () at Rogers Place on Tuesday night.

This put an end to the Oil Kings impressive 12-game point streak where they amassed 20 points and their first regulation loss since way back on Sept. 29th against the Lethbridge Hurricanes.

Unlike last season the Oil Kings came into the game with the best record in the WHL at 27 points, but the Raiders were nipping at their heels just two points back and with the win, now sit at the top of the league with Edmonton. In a battle of the two top teams in the league, the Oil Kings couldn’t muster much of anything all night registering just eight shots after two periods of action.

“To have eight shots after forty minutes… it’s not good enough. We’ve been getting away with a little bit I think—the last few games, we’ve won a couple not playing well and it finally caught up to us tonight,” said Edmonton head coach Brad Lauer postgame.

Edmonton has its seven-game winning streak snapped and now stands at 12-2-3-0 while the defending WHL champion Prince Albert Raiders improves their record to 12-2-3-0. They have now beaten the Oil Kings in eight of their last 11 meetings including playoffs dating back to last year.

It looked like it was going to be Edmonton’s night when they scored on their first shot just 5:58 into the game, but that was not the case. Matthew Robertson was able to uncork a blistering one-timer on the powerplay from the point that beat Raiders goalie Boston Bilous’ glove high with Riley Sawchuk and Jake Neighbours drawing assists.

But that’s as good as the night would get for Edmonton as the former Oil Kings’ netminder would get the last laugh.

Even after scoring on their first shot of the game the Oil Kings would give up five unanswered goals looking uninspired throughout the game getting badly outplayed.

Prince Albert was led by Brayden Watts who had a goal and three assists along with Ozzy Weisblatt and Spencer Moe who both had three points on the night.

“We played a pretty good team tonight, they went to the Memorial Cup for a reason and credit to them— usually when you go to that tournament your next year isn’t very good but they found a way to be good this year,” said Lauer.

It wasn’t a great night for Todd Scott who was pulled only five minutes into the second period after the Raiders’ fourth goal on 15 shots.

There were a few positives for the Oil Kings including rookie defencemen Keagan Slaney who scored his first career WHL goal in the third period off a wrist shot from the top of the slot that went under the bar after a kind deflection. Jake Neighbours looked dangerous all night as both him and Riley Sawchuk had two assists apiece.

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Keagan Slaney celebrates his first career WHL goal 

“Yeah obviously (it feels good) its a big milestone in my career and a lot of guys always worry a lot about getting that first one so it felt really good to get it,” said Keagan Slaney on scoring his first career WHL goal.

To the Oil Kings’ credit, they looked much better in the third period, Liam Keeler would add a third-period goal from McIndoe and Souch to make it 6-3 but it was too little too late.

The Raiders looked fresh and hungry suffocating Edmonton at every turn hounding them around the ice for the whole game. Prince Albert made a statement to the rest of the league that they are still very much a force in the WHL, while the Oil Kings would like to forget this game altogether.

The Oil Kings will hit the road next to play the Lethbridge Hurricanes on Friday, Nov. 9th.

(Photo Credit: Andy Devlin/Edmonton Oil Kings)

 

Austin Connelly

24-year-old journalism student living in Edmonton. Follow me on Twitter @OzzyConnelly

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