After taking the Kottenay Ice in their season opener with more of a team effort, it was the Edmonton Oil Kings big boys who did the damage against the Red Deer Rebels on Sunday afternoon. Centre Curtis Lazar led the way with a hat trick and Michael St. Croix added two more goals, pushing the Oil Kings to an easy 6-2 victory over their provincial rivals.
Just as they did in their home opener on Thursday night, the Oil Kings wasted little time getting on the board and for the second straight game, it was St. Croix who got them off on the right foot, scoring 1:29 into the proceddings, tucking home a backhand for another early lead.
After the Rebels bounced back to even things up just past the midway point of the opening period, courtesy of Cory Millette's first of the season, it was time for the Curtis Lazar show. The Oil Kings highly touted centre, is expected to go inside the top ten of the 2013 NHL Entry Draft and if his early season performance is any indication, the talented youngster seems to be more than up to challenge,
With Edmonton's Henrick Samuelsson in the box serving a slashing minor, Lazar would score his first of the of the season, after being sent in by Travis Ewanyk to restore the one goal cushion, with just under five minutes to go in the opening frame. He would waste little time picking up number two on the afternoon, scoring all of eighteen seconds into period two, snapping home a lovely feed from Samuelsson, as the Oil Kings continue their early season trend of scoring both early and late in periods.
St. Croix would extend the lead to three, notching his third of the young season with Edmonton on the man advantage and suddenly the route was on. Red Deer would get one back at the 13:20 mark, as Chad Robinson beat Laurent Brossoit to cut the lead by one but Lazar would complete the trick under a minute later, ripping home his third on the afternoon and giving him his first three goal game of his WHL career.
After forty minutes of play, Edmonton had peppered Rebels netminder Patrik Bartosakit with thirty-three shots and the onslaught continued in the final frame. Bartosakit stopped the first eighteen shots Edmonton sent his way but could not get in front of number nineteen, as Klarc Wilson scored his first of the year to make it 6-2 for the home side.
Simply put, it was men against boys.