Holy cow. Was that an Edmonton Ice Hockey squadron raising a championship trophy on Rexall Place Ice in a year that begins with 2?
A few years back it seemed as though Daryl Katz had purchased Last Place Hockey Teams in bulk and that anything remotely connected to Rexall Sports was destined to sit on the bottom of it’s league for all eternity.
Now in 2012 we are staring down the barrel of a return to respectability on two of the three fronts. The WHL Champion Oil Kings are officially a juggernaut. The Oil Barons are in the Conference Finals against the Jerk Marlies. And the big club? Well they are drafting first for the 11th year in a row and that’s something right?
As a perennial Moose Jaw fan we watched the Oil Kings smack aside what was one of the better Warriors teams in a long while as though it ain’t no thang. There was a big gap between "good" and "great" and the Oil Kings are definitely a part of the latter group.
Their win against Portland last night proved this beyond the shadow of a doubt.
John Mackinnon of the Edmonton Journal has a nice write up today about the quick ascent to the top of the WHL:
"The Oil Kings are headed back to the Memorial Cup tournament to compete for a national junior championship for the first time in 40 years.
“You know what, it’s a little surreal right now,” said Rachinski, a fifth-year player who has lived the growing pains of this fledgling franchise. “If you would have told me the last couple of years that we’d be winning a championship, I wouldn’t have believed you."
It’s time to start believing in the Oil Kings it would seem. Good luck in the Memorial Cup fellas. You are doing the City proud.