Oil Kings down Winterhawks to win WHL championship
PORTLAND, Ore. — It took one more day than they would have liked, but the Edmonton Oil Kings are Western Hockey League champions for the second time in three seasons.
Four different Oil Kings scored in a decisive second period as Edmonton won Game 7 of the WHL final 4-2 over the Portland Winterhawks.
In Sunday’s Game 6 in Edmonton, the Oil Kings watched a three-goal lead evaporate in the third period before losing 6-5.
Edmonton again built a three-goal lead through two periods on Monday, and didn’t let this one get away.
Mitch Moroz, Curtis Lazar, Reid Petryk and Mads Eller all scored in a four-goal second period for the Oil Kings and Goaltender Tristan Jarry stopped 32 shots in victory.
Oliver Bjorkstrand and Brendan Leipsic scored for Portland, which got 29 saves from goalie Brendan Burke.
Bjorkstrand scored his league-leading 16th goal of the playoffs— but his first of the final series— at 4:42 of the first to give the Winterhawks a 1-0 lead.
The Oil Kings busted out in the second period, though, scoring three times in less than six minutes to take command. Moroz scored at the 3:50 mark of the period to tie the game, then Lazar and Petryk scored 40 seconds apart near the midway point of the period to make it 3-1.
Eller’s goal with 2:43 left in the period gave the Oil Kings their second consecutive three-goal lead through two periods.
Though Leipsic scored with 3:22 left in regulation, the Winterhawks couldn’t pull off a second unlikely comeback in two days.
The Oil Kings are off to the Memorial Cup, which begins Friday in London, Ont. This was the third straight year Edmonton and Portland have met in the WHL final series. The Oil Kings prevailed in seven games in 2012, while the Winterhawks won in six games last season.