OIL KINGS RIDE POWER PLAY TO WIN OVER REBELS
JASON LA ROSE
PRINCE GEORGE, B.C. – Tyler Schendel scored a pair of goals, and the Leduc Oil Kings used three power-play markers to earn a 4-1 win over the Mississauga Rebels to open play Wednesday at the 2017 TELUS Cup.
The victory pulls Leduc even with Mississauga at 2-1, and temporarily puts both teams even with the Cape Breton West Islanders atop the standings, although the Islanders will face the host Cariboo Cougars on Wednesday night with a chance to move to 3-0.
Tyler Smithies added a goal and an assist for the Oil Kings, and Jack Sander also scored.
The Rebels kept the puck in the Leduc zone for much of the first period, thanks to eight minutes in penalties by the Pacific Region champions, but Oil Kings goaltender Easton Hesse stood tall with seven saves, keeping Mississauga at bay.
Leduc got its chance on the power play late in the opening frame, and made good; a shot from Kyle Walker hit Rebels netminder Christian Purboo in the mask and dropped to Schendel, who knocked in the 1-0 goal with just 11.2 seconds left in the period.
Smithies doubled the lead at 5:24 of the second, finishing off a pretty pass from Dillon Hamaliuk on a three-on-one break by beating a stretched-out Purboo.
Massimo Petricca finally solved Hesse on a Mississauga power play with less than six minutes to go in the middle stanza, snapping a quick shot that eluded the Leduc puck-stopper under the glove.
But the wheels fell off for the Rebels in the third period; the Central Region champions ended up with 57 minutes in penalties in the final 20 minutes and the Oil Kings made them pay with a pair of man-advantage goals.
Schendel converted on a five-on-three with 6:17 left, chipping a bouncing puck up and over Purboo, and Sander ripped a wrist shot past a helpless Purboo at 16:39 to provide the final margin of victory.
Leduc, which didn’t hit double-digits in shots on goal until the early minutes of the third period, outshot Mississauga 19-5 in the third and ended up with a 28-25 advantage overall.
The Oil Kings go for two wins in a row Thursday in an all-prairie match-up against the Regina Pat Canadians (12 p.m. PT), while the Rebels try to bounce back against Cape Breton West in the midday game (4 p.m. PT).