The Edmonton Oil Kings continued their early season domination of the Western Hockey League, improving to 3-0 on their campaign, with a 3-0 road victory against the Lethbridge Hurricanes. Netminder Ty Rimmer was outstanding in the losing effort, stopping 57 of the 60 Oil King shots fired his way. Forwards Curtis Lazar and Henrik Samuelsson scored for the second consecutive game and backup netminder Tristan Jarry made twenty saves, picking up his first WHL shutout, in his first start of the season.
The Oil Kings wasted little time getting the jump on the Hurricanes, as they opened the scoring for the third consecutive game...inside the opening two minutes of action. Lazar continued to carry the hot hand, scoring his fourth of the year, after potting three on Sunday afternoon against the Red Deer Rebels, giving Edmonton the lead at the 1:24 mark.
After both Keegan Lowe and Mason Geertsen dropped the mitts before the midway point of period one, the Oil Kings continued to pour it on. Despite being outshot 22-6 in the first period, Lethbridge still found themselves with a chance in this one, courtesy of the outstanding play of their starting netminder.
It was much of the same in period two, as Cody Corbett and Brandon Baddock took a page from the Oil Kings first period playbook, both dropping the gloves in the early part of period two. However, the story continued to be Rimmer. Edmonton dominated for the second consecutive period on the shot clock, this time to the tune of 21-8, but the Lethbridge netminder wa simply outstanding, leaving the Oil Kings shaking their heads.
After allowing the first shot of the game to get by him, the Edmonton native made 42 consecutive stops through two periods, with a diving stop off Mitch Moroz being the best of the bunch. Edmonton looked to have finally beat Rimmer in the dying seconds of the middle stanza but T.J. Foster's shot caromed off the crossbar, after a gorgeous three-way passing play, to keep it a one goal game after forty minutes of play.
It looked as though it would be the same old story in the third, as Rimmer made another seven stops in the opening seven minutes of period three but shot number 51 would sneak through the Lethbridge netminder. With the Oil Kings on their fifth man advantage of the night, Foster would make up for his missed opportunity at the end of the second, scoring his first of the season at the 7:50 mark and giving the visitors some breathing room.
Samuelsson would ice this one late in the third, snapping a quick shot past Rimmer, to make it a three goal bulge. With the win, Edmonton have now won fourteen consecutive regular season games, dating back to their 11-0 run to finish off the 2011-2012 season.
Next up for the Oil Kings, will be the Calgary Hitmen. As the provincial rivals will renew acquaintances on Friday night, at Rexall Place.The Hitman have also impressed to start the season, going 2-0 in their opening two games, with wins over Kootenay and Red Deer.