After a rather boring game last night in Camrose, the Oiler rookies will tangle with the U of A Golden Bears tonight, and historically this game has been fast-paced and hard-hitting.
Once again, it’s standing room only at the Clare Drake.
In case you missed it, here is the Oilers’ lineup for this annual battle between the Oilers and Golden Bears.
Philippe Cornet, 3rd, 2008 — Jordan Eberle, 1st round, 2008 — Bryan Lerg F.A
Les Reaney, F.A — Ryan O’Marra, 1st, 2005 NYI — David Rohlfs, 5th, 2003
Milan Kytnar, 5th, 2007 — M.A Bernier, F.A — Justin Chewdoruk, F.A
Jamie Bates, F.A — Garet Hunt, F.A — Geoff Paukovich, 2nd, 2004
Taylor Chorney, 2nd, 2005 — Alex Plante, 1st, 2007
Cody Wild, 5th, 2006 — Milan Maslonka, F.A
Anthony Pisano, F.A — Jordan Bendfeld, 7th, 2008
Kalvin Sagert, F.A — Dalton Prout, F.A
Brian Pitton, 3rd, 2006 — Andrew Perugini, F.A
The Oilers are dressing eight D-men to try and get more guys some game experience. It will be interesting to see how they play, since most are used to playing more minutes. The funniest sight so far was during the anthem as Hunt stood between Bates and Paukovich. Hunt looked like the minor hockey kid who lines up on the Oilers’ blueline before games. He is tough, but if he is taller than 5’7”, I’d be surprised.
I know that in the NHL the time starts at 0:00 and goes up, but I’m lazy and can’t add right now so I will time my posts based on the clock. Starting at 20 and going down to 0. [ed note: I also am lazy]
19:42… Hunt makes his presence felt right away as he gets involved with Kyle Fecho, but Hunt gets to aggressive and takes an extra two. Oilers give Eberle some PK time and he looks good. No real good chances for the Bears. Paukovich also out on the PK and shows some good shot-blocking instincts.
16:30… Eberle looks much more comfortable tonight as he gets a good chance coming down the left side, and then in the shift he sets up Cornet for a good chance. It is clear he is much more effective playing in the middle.
15:48… Dale Mahovsky with the first big hit as he pastes Maslonka into the glass by the Oiler bench. Much quicker pace tonight compared to what we saw last night in Camrose. Only a few good chances but the speed is much quicker.
13:34… Bryan Pitton with a great save as he robs (unknown player wearing jersey #1). The Bears had to change jerseys at the last second and there is no list that matches to that number. But he’s wearing #1—which self-respecting forward wears #1? I will say it right now; there is no chance #1 scores tonight. No sniper would possibly wear #1. I also vow to find out who the mystery Bear is.
12:52… Pitton is keeping the Oilers in this early as he stones Jesse Gimblett with a glove save and then kicks the rebound out nicely with his right leg.
9:17… The drought is over as the Oiler rookies get their first goal. Cornet gets it on a nice pass from Lerg. Eberle started the play and gets his first assist. This line continues to look very strong. None of them are that big, but they all skate well and seem to have equal offensive instincts.
5:34… Maslonka with a bullet from the left point blows it past Sorochan and the Oilers lead 2-0. Lerg penetrated the zone down the right side, and then saw Maslonka come in late at the left point. He walked in and blew it over the glove of Sorochan, who came out to the top of the crease to challenge. Chewdoruk also gets an assist.
3:15… Hunt’s line dominates for an entire shift, as Paukovich, Bates and Hunt cycle down low and get three quality chances. Hunt isn’t very big, but he skates well and takes the body every chance he gets. This line has been the perfect energy line so far.
2:32… Maslonka on the score sheet again, this time he takes an interference penalty as he rocks an unsuspecting Bear. Maslonka has been involved on most shifts. Once again the Bears don’t get a good chance, but this time their sloppy passing is the reason. The Bears can’t seem to make two consecutive passes as they go 0 for 2 on the PP.
Shot on goal after 20 minutes favour the Oilers 12–9. Pitton was solid especially in the first eight minutes. Eberle and Hunt’s lines were very effective, while Ryan O’Marra looks like he couldn’t play in the Central league right now. Maybe he put on too much weight, maybe he is pressing too hard, but whatever the reason he is accomplishing nothing and he is a step behind on every play.
Still no word on the mystery Bear. I’m not sure why it’s so hard to find out who is in the jersey, but the suspense is building. Unless he takes a penalty or gets an assist we might never find out, because like I said, no forward scores wearing #1.
18:46… Bears get on the scoreboard as Kyle Pess puts the puck into an empty net, after the original shot hit a leg in front and deflected to Pess who tapped it home. Derek Ryan gets the assist; Pitton really had no chance after the ricochet.
15:02…The Bears continue to dominate the middle frame as they tie it up on a delayed penalty going to Alex Plante. Gimblett bangs home the rebound after Kilgour deflected a Featherstone point shot. Plante was going to get a weak interference call, after he pushed Gimblett to the ice battling on the wall. Plante has loads of strength, but he will need to get quicker in his next few years of development.
12:30… O’Marra’s struggles continues as he gets caught for hooking. A little tug on the stick of Metcalfe as he entered the Oilers’ zone gets O’Marra two minutes. Eric Thurston takes a page out of MacT’s book and starts his fourth line on the PP. They actually weren’t that bad. The Oilers PK continues to be perfect over two games.
10:42… Pisano makes his presence felt as he buries Shaden Moore just inside the Oiler blueline. At 6’6” and 230 he is a load. Like most D-men his size, Pisano will need to work on this foot speed, but he hasn’t looked out of place at all so far.
9:48… Andrew Perugini now in goal for Oilers. The 20-year-old plays for the Sarnia Sting in the OHL, and he makes a nice sliding save seconds after coming into the game.
7:00… Hunt now on a line with O’Marra and Rohlfs and his energy seems to be contagious as O’Marra has his best shift. Still not great, but progress needs to be noted.
3:15… Perugini with another solid stop as he closes the pads before Ian McDonald can slide it home. McDonald led the Bears in scoring last year, so he knows how to bulge the twine.
2:33… Oilers get their first PP. Eric Hunter trips up Perugini and sits for goaltender interference. Eberle’s line with Chorney and Wild start the PP, they have decent control but don’t generate any chances. Chwedoruk’s line comes out, and 15 seconds later he takes a tripping penalty to end the man advantage.
:51…Period ends with teams playing four aside and no chances are exchanged.
The Bears dominated the second frame out shooting the Oil 18–2. Both Oiler goalies were solid, but didn’t need to be spectacular. It is entertaining watching Hunt play. The waterbug is constantly chirping at someone. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him start the season in Stockton for the Oilers. He can skate, and he is pretty good at chucking the knuckles. Too bad he’s a smurf.
The Bear Mystery has been solved. Richard Kelly is wearing #1. He had two goals in eight games last year for the Bears, so while he isn’t a sniper, he isn’t completely lost around the goal. Not that it matters tonight, because his hands must feel like stone with him wearing a goalie number. He normally wears #7, so maybe he thought it looked close, but he’ll find out in 20 minutes that there’s a big difference between those two numbers. It’s like a guy thinking, “I used to drive a Ford Mustang, so this Topaz will probably be just as sweet.”
Okay, I’m getting hungry. No popcorn in the pressbox here at the Drake. And they don’t have wireless Internet either. I thought the U of A was on the cutting edge of education and intelligence, but they can’t get wireless in the rink. WEAK. I can’t even work an iPod and I have wireless in my house.
Finally play has resumed. Let’s see if the Oil can muster more than two shots this period… Well shut my mouth…
19:24… As I was typing that the Oilers scored. Ian McDonald turns it over at his blueline and Marc-Andre Bernier walks down the left wing and buries it short-side for a shorthanded goal. I wonder if I talk about winning a million dollars on Wednesday if my numbers will be drawn…
17:42… Pisano takes a tripping penalty and the Bears are on the PP for the fourth time tonight. Chwedoruk, Kytnar, Plante and Chorney start for the Oil. Chorney looks way more comfortable tonight. He is patient with the puck and making good decisions all over the ice… and as I typed that he chipped it off the boards and had a partial breakaway down the left side, but Sorochan made a nice pad save. Had he scored, I might have started writing about all the hot chicks I need to meet.
15:42… Oilers kill off another powerplay. They have been very aggressive in both games so far on the PK.
14:54… First real scrum of the night. Hunter and Jordan Bendfeld get into it after Hunter tries to poke the puck lose in front off the Oiler net. Both cool their heels for two.
13:25… Bernier thinks he has his second of the night, but ref calls it off due to goaltender interference. Kytnar sits for a deuce. Kytnar, Bernier and Chwedoruk have been strong all night. They haven’t been edge-of-your-seat great, but most of their shifts have been spent in the offensive zone. Chwedoruk, the former St Albert Saint, has skated miles tonight and logged lots of minutes, as he is right back out on the penalty kill.
11:25… Bears 0 for 5 on the PP now.
9:15… Maslonka rips another bomb from the point and Sorochan just gets a glove on it. O’Marra won the draw cleanly back to Maslonka. The Slovakian hammer can definitely fire the biscuit.
8:20 to 7:10… End-to-end action. Eberle’s line again with a great chance as Lerg chips it past the defender for a 2-on-1. Lerg goes short-side shelf, but Sorochan with the shoulder save. The Bears come back moments later with a 2-on-1, but Dalton Prout makes a nice defensive play by sprawling out to stop the pass at the top of the circle.
1:03… Not much has happened in the last six minutes, outside of Chwedoruk taking an errant stick in the chops. No blood and he never left the ice. Bears call a timeout with the face-off to the right of Perugini. O’Marra takes the draw and wins it, but the Bears get control in the corner. They can’t keep control and the Oilers dump it out. Bears come back in and a wild stab from McDonald is stopped by Perugini.
Oiler rookies win 3–2. They outshoot the Bears in the 3rd 12–9, but final shots favour the Bears 36–26.
Eberle’s line was dangerous most of the night. Lerg was a threat all night and was the first star. Chwedoruk and Hunt were noticeable, and on the backend all eight D-men made decent plays. Overall a much better game than last night.
And a note to all you snipers out there, I don’t care if you have to wear a blank jersey and tape a number on the back, never ever wear #1 and play out. Kelly once again confirmed that no forward will score wearing that goalie-only jersey.
My wrists have cramped up, so I won’t be in Camrose tomorrow night, but I will post at intermissions during most Oiler games. Feel free to add your comments starting next Monday night.
—Jason Gregor, the new King of Drive Time on the Team 1260, but a rookie around here.