It was a good old fashioned barn burner in Edmonton, Tuesday afternoon. The Winnipeg ICE travelled west for a fun, afternoon playdate with the Oil Kings, only to have their little get-together turn ugly, quick.
After losing 7-0 to the Oil Kings already on October 4 at Wayne Fleming Arena, the ICE once again lost 4-1 to the same Edmonton team at Rogers Place on February 1. Hoping for a different result in the elongated home-and-home spanning from Wednesday, February 19 to Tuesday, February 25, Winnipeg dropped the opening contest 5-0 at home, before hitting rock bottom in Alberta, ultimately losing Tuesday’s game 10-1.
In front of 11,212 spectators, the Oil Kings mustered up 41 shots on goal, resulting in 10 goals – only one of which came on a man advantage. Jumping out to a 4-0 lead through 20 minutes helped set the tone for Edmonton, who added three goals in each of the remaining two periods, while holding Winnipeg off the board entirely.
Dylan Guenther got things going for the Oil Kings, scoring his 23rd and 24th goals of the season before the game was 10 minutes old. He finished off his hat trick late stages of the opening period. Ethan McIndoe, Logan Dowhaniuk, Jake Neighbours, Josh Williams, Riley Sawchuk, Samuel Stewart and Wyatt McLeod each also had multi-point afternoons for the home team. Tyler Horstmann and Keagan Slaney were the only two Oil Kings not to finish the day as ‘plus’ rated players.
Goaltenders Liam Hughes and Alexander Gage were atrocious for Winnipeg, combing to stop just 31 of 41 shots, with Hughes receiving the hook after four goals against on 17 first period shots. Gage stopped 18 of 24 shots throughout the remainder of the game.
In four games against the Oil Kings this season, the ICE are 0-4-0 and have been outscored 26-2. Luckily for the playoff hopefuls, the remainder of the regular season schedule will not see another test between the two Canadian cities. Also working in Winnipeg’s favour is that only one of the remaining 11 games is an afternoon start.
The ICE will look to rebound from their embarrassing loss on Thursday as they travel to Calgary for their final matinee contest of the season against the Hitmen from Scotiabank Saddledome. Winnipeg (34-22-1) is currently second in the East Division with 69 points, sitting one point ahead of the Brandon Wheat Kings (31-21-6).