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The Edmonton Oil Kings opened up the season at home against arguably their biggest rival, the Calgary Hitmen. Opening Night featured a live performance by Stereos and some great WHL action in front of a crowd of over 8,000. The Oil Kings dominate the early minutes of the first period and score the first goal when Tomas Vincour drives the net from the left wing and bounces one in off a Hitmen defender. Edmonton gets three power play opportunities but can't extend the lead. The Oil Kings outshoot the Hitmen 12 - 5 in the period and lead 1 - 0 after one.

Calgary has a better start to the second period. Their best chance comes on an early power play when Tyler Fiddler walks out front and rattles one off the cross bar. Fiddler had a hat trick in a 6 - 2 win over Red Deer the night before. The hit of the game comes midway through the first when the Oil Kings Adrian Van de Mosselaer lays out Chase Schaber with an open ice hip check. The Hitmen keep pressing and tie the game on a screen shot from the point as Ben Wilson's high wrister eludes Torrie Jung. The scond period ends tied at 2.

The teams play a tight checking third until late in the frame when there is a flurry of goals in less than 2 minutes. First the Hitmen take the lead when Fiddler converts a cross crease pass from Brandon Kozun to make it 2 - 1. Edmonton's Brent Raedeke evens the score when he uses the defenseman as a screen to beat Hitmen goalie Martin Jones. Then, the Hitmen take the lead for good when Ian Schultz scores on a great solo effort. The Hitmen add an empty netter and win 4 - 2.

"I thought it was good hockey," says Head Coach Steve Pleau. "The one thing that disappoints me is that we couldn't take it to them in the third period. We're at home and we should be able to come out in the third period and find a way to win."

The Oil Kings top line of Tomas Vincour, Brent Raedeke and rookie Dylan Wruck scored both goals and were effective all night.

"I like playing with those two," says Raedeke. "Obviously they are skilled and I can be a big body out there and work the pucks out from down low. We got the puck to the net but we just didn't score on our early chances."

The Oil Kings head out on a three game road trip that begins Wednesday in Cranbrook, BC. against the Kootenay Ice. The Oil Kings next home game is Wednesday, September 30th against the Medicine Hat Tigers.

For more information, contact Oil Kings Manager, Communications Kelly Row at [email protected] or call (780) 231-2819.
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