Hemsky hat trick leads the way at Joey Moss Cup
Ales Hemsky scored three goals and Sam Gagner scored twice to lead Team Blue to a decisive 9-4 win over Team White at the Joey Moss Cup. Dustin Penner had four points as the trio was flying all afternoon.
"He's a young, talented guy. Really smart and he can move the puck," said Hemsky after the game. "He's got a feel for the game. It will be interesting to see how he will do in the exhibition games."
Hemsky was also impressed with his other linemate, Dustin Penner.
"He's a big guy, very solid. He can move the puck and finish it, too," Hemsky noted.
Normally a playmaker, Hemsky's three goals was something fans were not used to seeing. He was firing a lot more pucks on net than usual.
"It's always nice to pick up confidence early in the season. I never scored three goals in my career here - it's fun," he said.
The Joey Moss Cup was Sam Gagner's first time on the ice in an Oilers uniform. He gave fans a lot to be excited about with his two goal, four point performance.
"They're obviously really skilled players. Penner opens up a lot of room for the two of us and Hemsky has great hands and great vision," Gagner said of his linemates.
Since camp opened on Friday, Gagner seems to be getting better every day and he made note of that.
"You learn new things every day and you adjust. Coming into today, I was a lot better than I was the first day. I felt a lot better out there, more comfortable."
Geoff Sanderson's line with Marc Pouliot and Shawn Horcoff looked good early on in the game. Sanderson, Pouliot and Tom Gilbert skated in on a rush and Mathieu Garon had to be sharp to deny Pouliot on a close chance.
Team Blue got on the board first. A three-way passing play between Raffi Torres, Mathieu Roy and Robert Nilsson made it 1-0. Torres threw the puck
Less than a minute later, Torres teed up a blast from the left circle beating Roloson low blocker side to make it 2-0 for his side.
Roloson made a nice stop on Jarret Stoll to keep Team White in the game. Stoll blasted a shot from the high slot and Roloson got down low to smother the puck.
Dustin Penner had a great chance to score on a breakaway with 8:21 left in the first period. After taking a lead pass from Hemsky, Penner broke in behind the Team White defence and tried to make a move on Roloson. As he attempted the deke, he crashed into Roloson and dislodged the net.
Less than a minute later, that same line struck again. Sam Gagner took a pass from Hemsky and skated in on the right side. Gagner picked the corner over the shoulder of Roloson to make it 3-0 for Team Blue.
"Hemsky made a great play and I had a lot of time. I was looking for Penner back door and then I saw an opening for a shot so I just tried to get it upstairs," said Gagner. "I guess it worked out."
Team White tried to rally on the next shift. Pouliot caught Garon out of position deep in the Team Blue end but couldn't sneak the puck around the Oilers netminder.
After one period, Team Blue had a 9-4 shot advantage over Team White.
Team White got back in the game early in the second period. 2:21 into the middle frame, Ethan Moreau slipped the puck past Garon to make it 3-1. Danny Syvret and Zack Stortini got assists on the play.
Just when it looked like the tide might be shifting, Team Blue's top line of Hemsky, Penner and Gagner struck again to regain a three-goal lead. Hemsky picked up a rebound after the initial shot from Sam Gagner and fired it past an outstretched Roloson.
Just over a minute later, Kyle Brodziak created a turnover and broke in alone on the Team White net. He managed to pick the corner and gave his team a 5-1 lead.
Just prior to the midway point of the period, Gagner struck for his second of the game. Penner fed Hemsky in the slot who dished it over to Gagner. The 2007 first round draft choice went high under the crossbar to give Team Blue a monstrous 6-1 lead.
After the goal, both teams switched goaltenders. Jeff Deslauriers came in for Team Blue and Devan Dubnyk replaced Roloson for Team White.
A couple minutes later, Ethan Moreau struck for his second of the game to close the gap to 6-2. Horcoff found Pouliot in the slot who fired it on Deslauriers. The rebound went out to Moreau at the left circle who fired it in.
Dubnyk made his first big stop with about five minutes left in the second. Stoll rifled the puck from the side boards and Dubnyk steered it away.
With Zack Stortini in the box serving a penalty, Ales Hemsky scored a power play goal to move Team Blue in front 7-2. Hemsky took a pass from Penner and broke in along the right side boards. He then cut towards the net, beating Grebeshkov and Gilbert before wrapping the puck around Dubnyk low blocker side. The goal came with 1:49 to go in the second.
After two periods, shots on goal were 20-19 for Team Blue.
Team Blue picked up where they left off early in the third period. Robert Nilsson carried the puck across the White zone and then made a nifty pass back to Stoll. He made no mistake, rifling a shot past Dubnyk to give his team a commanding 8-2 advantage.
Jean-Francois Jacques scored for Team White midway through the third period on a nice play from Shawn Horcoff. The Oilers centreman created a turnover before taking the puck all the way up ice. He outmuscled the defender before dishing it to Jacques in the slot. Jacques redirected it in behind Deslauriers to make it 8-3.
With time winding down in the third, Marc Pouliot wristed a shot from the left faceoff circle that beat Deslauriers through the five hole. The goal closed the gap to four goals, making it an 8-4 game in favour of Team Blue.
Hemsky continued his onslaught with 1:09 left in the game. On a two-on-one he elected to shoot and beat Dubnyk with a quick wrist shot. The goal was Team Blue's ninth, resulting in the 9-4 final.