EDMONTON — The Calgary Hitmen coughed up a 2-0 lead and needed a goal from Brady Brassart in overtime to defeat the Edmonton Oil Kings 3-2 in the opening game of the WHL’s Eastern Conference final on Thursday.
Brassart took the puck off the stick of defender David Musil in front and whipped the puck into the wide open net 1:44 into overtime.
Victor Rask scored for Calgary in the first period, and Zane Jones made it 2-0 in the second.
Trevor Cheek got one back for Edmonton in the second period, and Henrik Samuelsson tied it for the Oil Kings in third.
Rask opened the scoring 1:25 into the game, streaking in on the left wing and floating a wrist shot over the left pad of Edmonton netminder Laurent Brossoit.
Edmonton came within inches of tying the game at 13:43 of the period as Cheek took a centring pass from Michael St. Croix, looking to pick a shot just under the crossbar. But Calgary netminder Chris Driedger fought the shot off with his shoulder.
Calgary made it 2-0 on the power play at 3:32 of the second period, needing just seven seconds to capitalize off a faceoff win as Jones deflected Spencer Humpries’ point shot in behind Brossoit.
Driedger came up big in net again for Calgary on the penalty kill, turning aside Cheek in tight on a rebound with a sprawling right pad save halfway through the frame.
But third time was the charm for Cheek, who was left alone in the slot and buried a wrist shot into the high glove corner at 13:42 of the middle stanza to pull Edmonton back within one.
Edmonton’s power play struck at 13:05 of the third with Samuelsson finishing off a crisp tic-tac-toe play at the side of the net, leaving Driedger no chance as the Oil Kings tied the game 2-2.
Calgary was 1-for-4 on the power play while Edmonton went 1-for-5 with the man advantage.
Chris Driedger stopped 33 shots for the Hitmen, while Brossoit turned aside 16 for the Oil Kings.
The series resumes Friday night in Edmonton for game two.