Oil Kings 5 Rebels 1 (Saturday)
Oil Kings 6 Rebels 1 (Monday)
Another game against the Red Deer Rebels, another ho-hum victory for the Edmonton Oil Kings.
Albeit against a shorthanded Rebels roster, who were missing three defencemen and two of their top forwards in Monday’s Easter weekend finale of the three-game WHL mini-series– Edmonton dominated once again.
Edmonton won 6-1 Monday at the Centrium, extending their win streak to six games this season over Red Deer and 18 regular-season games dating back to Oct. 19, 2018.
In this year’s season series alone, Edmonton has also outscored the Rebels 33-7.
“It’s just not about wins and losses. It’s about how you lose. I’ve said this a thousand times over and I’ve been in the game a long time, you never learn how to win until you hate to lose,” said Rebels GM/head coach Brent Sutter.
“If you’re willing to lose easy, it’s tough to begin to hate to lose and that means you have no chance of winning. We need to get the guys to push themselves through– when you get to the point where you hate to lose, you’ll do whatever you need to do to sacrifice to win. We just haven’t had enough of that sacrifice.”
Edmonton scored three times in the opening frame as they outshot the Rebels 20-1. Kalan Lind had the only Rebels shot of the first period.
Kaid Oliver opened the scoring for Edmonton and Dylan Guenther buried twice late in the frame to extend their advantage. Red Deer minor hockey product Jayden Henderson assisted on a goal in the first period, his first career WHL point.
“It was the worst period of the season, we didn’t have any jump or emotion in our game at all,” Sutter said.
“We hardly touched the puck because of it. There was not enough compete level, we didn’t play hard enough.”
At the halfway point of the game, Red Deer only had three shots on goal.
The Rebels found a bit of life late in the second when last year’s leading scorer Arshdeep Bains buried on the power play. It was just their sixth shot of the game.
— The WHL (@TheWHL) April 6, 2021
Edmonton quickly extinguished any hope of a comeback in the dying minutes of the period, when Jalen Luypen buried off the rush to open up a 4-1 advantage.
“You make it 3-1, you have a quality scoring chance and you don’t capitalize on it, you give up a goal that we don’t gap up like we need to as far as defencemen,” Sutter said.
“We let them walk in and get a clear shot on your goalie and that set us back to 4-1. Goals in the third period, mistakes by young defencemen who are still learning the right way to play.”
Luypen added his 10th of the year early in the third and Oliver rounded out the scoring with his eighth of the campaign.
“When you play a good team like that, arguably the best team in the league, they’re gonna make you pay on those kinds of mistakes,” Sutter said.
“At the end of the day, you kind of get what you deserve. In the game of hockey, there’s a reason why they have three periods. To win a game of hockey you’ve got to be competitive in all three periods.”
Sebastian Cossa stopped 15 shots in the win, while Ethan Anders turned aside 29 shots for the Rebels.
Red Deer dropped to 2-9-2-0 with the loss, while the Oil Kings improved to 12-1 on the season.
Saturday afternoon in Edmonton, the Rebels got the opening goal but the Oil Kings took over after that and rolled to victory.
Edmonton scored five unanswered goals in the 5-1 victory, with five different goal scorers hitting the scoresheet. Liam Keller, Dylan Guenther, Carter Souch, Kaid Oliver and Jalen Luypen all had goals in the victory. Sebastian Cossa Earned the win with 20 saves and Byron Fancy turned aside 27 shots in the loss.
Jace Weir notched the lone Rebels goal, his first career tally in the WHL.