Saturday, January 12, 2013

Cheek scores in debut as Oil Kings dismantle Hurricanes

Trade deadline pick-up Trevor Cheek wasted little time making an impression on his new teammates, scoring in his Oil Kings debut and back-up netminder Tristan Jarry continued his stellar season, stopping all twenty-three shots fired his way. 

As the Edmonton Oil Kings kept rolling right along, beating the Lethbridge Hurricanes by a score of 4-0 in Friday night WHL action. 

Defenceman Keegan Lowe continued to impress in what has been an outstanding season for the Carolina Hurricanes prospect, picking up a pair of assists and dropping the mitts one more time, helping Edmonton to bounce back from a tough loss in Kootenay on Wednesday night. 

Mitch Moroz opened the scoring late in the first, tipping home David Musil's point shot for his ninth of the year. Despite swarming the Hurricanes from the opening whistle, Edmonton were unable to sneak one past Ty Rimmer, until the two Oilers prospects combined to finally get one behind the Lethbridge starter. 

Curtis Lazar would make it a 2-0 game, banging home his sixteenth of the year, in the opening minute of the middle frame and ending a six game goalless drought. While the talented centre has struggled with his consistency for much of the season, he sits just three points shy of his total for the entire 2011-2012 campaign. 

They would extend the lead to three, courtesy of a one-timer from the newest Oil King, after a wonderful feed from Lowe. The second period marker gives Cheek nineteen for the year, good enough for third among Edmonton skaters. 

Oil Kings General Manger Bob Green parted with the club's 2013 second round pick in order to acquire the twenty year old forward from the Vancouver Giants, in hopes Cheek would add more scoring depth and better balance to an already impressive roster. 

Dylan Wruck would closeout the scoring midway through the third, potting his thirteenth of the year, and Jarry did the rest in posting his fourth shutout of the season. While the Oil Kings dominated from the outset, badly outshooting the Hurricanes 46-23, the Oil Kings netminder was up to the task, when called upon. 

The win keeps Edmonton three points back of the Calgary Hitmen, for top spot in both the Central Division and Eastern Conference standings, though the Oil Kings do have a couple of games in hand on their provincial rivals. Through forty-two games, the defending Western Hockey League Champions, have posted a record of 28-9-2-3 and look poised to try and match their second half run from a year ago. 

Derek Laxdal's crew will continue their hectic weekend on Saturday night, as they travel to Saskatoon to take on the Blades and than close out their stretch of three games in three nights, by paying a visit to the Medicine Hat Tigers on Sunday night. 

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