Wednesday, February 6, 2013

They call it "The Streak"

Michael St. Croix (Edmonton Oil Kings)
With just 2 games on the schedule; 2 New York Ranger and 1 New York Islander prospect saw their teams continue their winning ways. Have to start with the defending Edmonton Oil Kings as they are giving new meaning to turning it up another notch.

It was the battle of WHL Eastern Conference leaders as the Edmonton Oil Kings visited the Prince Albert Rangers. The Oil Kings leaders of the Central Division entered the game against Prince Albert leaders of the East division with a 16 point lead for the top spot in the conference.

Forget what the standings said as this was a close game that eventually wound up in overtime where Edmonton came away with a 4-3 win. It was a scoreless 1st period despite Edmonton holding a 19-8 advantage in shots and Prince Albert coming up empty on 2 power play chances.

Prince Albert would jump out to a 1-0 lead on an even strength goal at 2:45 of the 2nd period and that was all of the scoring in the period. The Oil Kings despite 34 shots over the first 2 periods just could not get anything past Prince Albert goalie Luke Siemens.

In the 3rd period Edmonton would finally get on the scoreboard with an even strength goal at 5:18 but the tie would only last for 46 seconds as Prince Albert would score to retake the lead at 6:04. Michael St. Croix (NYR 2011 4th) would get called for goaltender interference 18 seconds later at 6:22 and Edmonton would take another penalty giving Prince Albert a 5 on 3 power play that they scored on to make it a 3-1 game.

St. Croix would make up for his penalty by scoring a power play goal of his own at 12:10 cutting the Prince Albert lead to just 1 goal at 3-2. It would be St. Croix's 27th goal of the season (27-36-63 overall), his 17th power play goal (tops in the WHL) and it extended St. Croix's scoring streak to 10 games (6-8-14).

1:19 later at 13:29, teammate Griffin Reinhart (NYI 2012 1st) would earn a secondary assist on the game tying goal. It was Reinhart's 13th assist of the season and 19th overall point (6-13-19) but more importantly it wiped out the Prince Albert lead.

Neither team would score during the rest of regulation and for most of overtime until David Musil did to give the Oil Kings the 4-3 win. The win was Edmonton's 9th straight and it opened up a 13 point lead over Calgary for the conference as well division lead.

Shane McColgan (Steve Hiscock)
Shane McColgan (NYR 2011 5th) and his Saskatoon Blades continued their charge up the WHL's Eastern Conference standings after a hard fought 5-4 win over the visiting Moose Jaw Warriors. The win for the Blades was their 5th straight and they have pushed their way up to fifth overall in the WHL's Eastern Conference.

What once looked like an embarrassing season now has the Blades just 1 point behind the Red Deer Rebels for 4th place in the Eastern Conference (with 2 games in hand) and 6 points behind East Division leader Prince Albert 6 points behind (with 1 game in hand.

The hosts of the 2013 Memorial Cup didn't look so good giving up a power play goal and a shorthanded on during a 1st period which saw Moose leading 2-0 at the 1st intermission. The Blades would tie the game thanks to 2 goals in a 33 second span by Brett Stovin but Moose Jaw would retake the lead with a power play goal.

McColgan would earn his only point of the evening with the primary assist on Josh Nichols goal at 18:33 of the 2nd period. It would be the last time the Blades would trail as they scored twice in the 3rd and held off Moose Jaw for the 5-4 win.

For McColgan the assist was his 38th and McColgan is now 11-38-49 for the Blades who will be hosting the Prince Albert Raiders on Wednesday night. Extend the winning streak against the Raiders and the Blades will trail them by just 4 points.

It is going to be a fun game to watch.

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