A quick turn around is in order for both the Oil Kings and the Rebels as they have compete against each other in the second of back to back meetings tonight. Last night the Oil Kings registered a 2-1 victory in regulation over the visiting Red Deer Rebels. The Oil Kings scored 2 goals in the first period and managed hold off the Rebel forces as they tried to attack the Oil Kings fortress.
Dylan Myskiw once again stood tall in net with a .967 sv% on the night after turning away 29 out of 30 shots. Trey Fix-Wolansky got a point on the board with an assist on the second goal while Brandon Hagel of Red Deer scored the lone Rebel goal. Fix-Wolansky and Hagel are 4th and 5th in WHL scoring respectively so Fix-Wolansky was able to keep his lead in points over Hagel.
With the Win last night the Oil Kings were able to maintain sole possession of first in the Central division and keep a two point lead over the Lethbridge Hurricanes who also won. The Rebels loss last night now points them 2 points outside the final Wildcard sport in the Eastern Conference, though they do have a game in hand. So Expect the Rebels to come out hard tonight as they try to battle their way back into the playoffs. Look for the Oil Kings to try and take advantage of the Rebels desperation and take control of the game with a more calm demeanour.
Currently the Oil Kings need 11 points to clinch a playoff berth, they currently have 9 games left including tonights matchup. A win tonight over the 9th place Rebels would bring the magic clinch number down to only 7 points with 8 games to go in the schedule. The Central division standings are very tight near the top right now. The Oil Kings sitting a top look primed to make the playoffs without a worry but a win tonight would go a long way in cementing that fact.
Players To Watch
Scott Atkinson – He has scored in two straight games, had the opening goal last night.
Vince Loschiavo – Has 50 points in 54 games, look for him to be dangerous offensively tonight as he was held off the score sheet last night.
Conner McDonald – Had an assist last night and is the Oil Kings leading scorer on defence
Brandon Hagel – Scored a goal last night, is top 5 in WHL scoring. Look for him to be the driver of the Rebels offence
Jeff De Wit – Hometown kid for the Rebels, playing at home, top scoring centre on the team. He’ll be itching to get his team back in the win column.
Dawson Barteaux – Had the lone assist on Hagel’s goal last night, he along with the rest of the team will want to get the offence going against the 1st place Oil Kings tonight.
With this being a back to back the Oil Kings may not play Myskiw tonight and give him a rest. That would be a big break for the Rebels considering Myskiw has stopped 67 of 68 shots in his last two games for a .985 sv%. Look for the Rebels to try and jump on the Oil Kings early and take advantage of the goaltending change.