Columns & Blogs

Game Day: Oil Kings at Americans

It's Wednesday hockey and the Edmonton Oil Kings are in town. It's only the second time they have been here. They are coming off a 4-2 win over Seattle on Tuesday.

Cory the Edmonton radio man was telling me it was minus-30 (Canadian) in Edmonton the other day. That they had about 6 feet of snow piled up along the road sides. It may have been 30 degrees here today, but I will take that over minus-30 and snow.

To catch you up on a couple of things:

On Jan. 24, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins signed former Tri-City goaltender Alex Pechurskiy to a professional tryout contract. He was released from that contract on Jan. 31 and send back to the Mississippi River Kings (CHL). He didn't get any ice time, but the experience was worth the trip.

Pechurskiy, 20, has appeared in 21 games with the River Kings, fashioning a 10-8-0 record, a 2.74 goals-against average and save percentage of .898.

In the CHL poll, the Saint John Sea Dogs are still No. 1, followed by Mississauga St. Michaels Majors, Saskatoon Blades, Montreal Juniors, Red Deer Rebels, Quebec Remparts, Niagara IceDogs, Portland Winterhawks, Saginaw Spirit and Drummondville Voltigeurs.

Portland moved up 2 spots from last week despite a loss to the Americans. The Spokane Chiefs dropped out of the honorable mention category.

Americans water boy Sammy Megna is on a roll. The up-and-coming goalie is 27-2 this season with 10 shutouts. He is 15-0 in league play for the Spokane Junior Chiefs Squirt Major A team. He has shutouts in his last five starts. That's a pretty good showing for a young man who is just 10 years old.

With his win Saturday over Spokane, Drew Owsley picked up his 68th career win, passing Tyler Weiman (67) for third on the Americans all-time wins list.

Friday, the Spokane Chiefs are in town. It's Family Friday. Cut out the ad in Friday's Herald and get 4 tickets for $56. This my friends, is a very good deal. Hopefully, there still are tickets left by then.

On to tonight.

Chris Driedger is getting his third start of the season for the Americans — his first at Toyota Center. He is 1-1-0-0 this year. On the scratch list are Sam Grist and Neal Prokop.

For Edmonton, former Kamloops goalie Jon Groenheyde is in goal. On the scratch list are Griffin Reinhart (wrist, 8 weeks), Josh Lazowski (shoulder, indefinite), David Stephens, Mark Reners and Ryan Dech. On roster is Adrian Van de Mosselaer. Must be related to Vancouver's Wes Vannieuwenhuizen.

Dylan Wruck has scored the game winner the last two outings for the Oil Kings. We'll have to keep an eye on him.

Tonight is the second of four games in the U.S. Division for the Oil Kings. They beat Seattle on Tuesday and will be at Portland on Friday and at Everett on Saturday. They played at Spokane back in November.

Harlem Globetrotter Rocket Rivers is on the ice with Winger, spinning the basketball and doing a few tricks. I think there is a jump puck coming up. Nope, a jump ball between Rocket and Winger. The ball goes up, the ball comes down. I guess it's not wise to jump when there is just a small red carpet under foot.

Be back after the first.


It took a while, but the Americans lead 1-0 on a goal by Justin Feser at 17:13.

Earlier in the first, 7:02 to be exact, Edmonton's Braeden Laroque drove Patrick Holland in the end boards as they were going for a loose puck. I watched the video replay and Laroque could easily have pulled up and avoided contact. Instead, he got a major for boarding and a game misconduct. I'll be waiting to see what kind of punishment Mr. Doerksen hands out. Good news is that Patrick appears to be fine.

On the Edmonton bench is trainer Brian Cheeseman. Brian was the Americans' trainer last year. Kind of missed him at first glance — he no longer is bald.

More later.


The Ams lead 2-1. It was 2-0 after Adam Hughesman scored, but Michael St. Croix picked up a loose puck and lofted it into the net to cut into the Ams lead.

I have to say, it's cold in the rink tonight. Likely because it is so cold outside and there aren't enough warm bodies in here to bring the temperature up a bit.


The Oil Kings made a game of it, taking a 3-2 lead in the third before Jordan Messier tied it to force OT.

Matt MacKenzie's blast from the point on the power play ended up th game winner just 53 seconds into overtime.

Rookie Chris Driedger got his first start and first win at home. He had a nice game.

Spokane is here Friday. Get your tickets now, watching it sure is better than reading about it.