SF RECAP: Oil Kings 4, Foreurs 3 (3OT)
Oil Kings win the longest game in franchise history and Memorial Cup history to advance to Sunday's Final against Guelph
LONDON, ON - For the second straight game, the Val d'Or Foreurs scored a late third-period goal to tie the game and for a second-straight game, the two teams went to multiple overtimes but this time it was the Edmonton Oil Kings who came out on top on a goal by Curtis Lazar 2:42 into the third overtime.
The game was the longest in Memorial Cup history -- and first to ever go into triple overtime. Additionally, it was the longest game in Oil Kings history.
Lazar redirected a point shot just inside the right post past Bibeau for the victory.
"Petryk made a great play there. It's probably going to go unnoticed but he picked up the puck in traffic and hit Corbett. (Corbett) threw it on net, that's never a bad play in overtime. We had eye contact. He found my stick on the ice and I was able to redirect it," said Lazar at the podium in a post-game press conference after the biggest goal of his career.
"My first thought was, 'go to bed'," Lazar chuckled. "It's so late right now. To get that one there is huge for our team."
Edmonton now advances to Sunday's Memorial Cup Final to play against the Guelph Storm (Sportsnet, 2:00 p.m. MT).
Edgars Kulda battles in the corner of the Val d'Or zone (Andy Devlin / EOK)
"It was a crazy night," said Oil Kings head coach Derek Laxdal. "We got up 3-1 and they battled back to make it 3-2. They hung in for the third period and got one off the faceoff on us to tie it up.
"The overtime periods were outstanding. The goal we scored on to win the game was something that we worked on in practice, to change the direction of the pucks on (Antoine) Bibeau because he's been so good."
Laxdal looked ahead to tomorrow and Sunday's final.
"It'll be a day of rest tomorrow. The big thing for us, our year has been incredible. The first team in the history of the WHL to win a Game 7 on the road. Longest game in the history of the Memorial Cup. The kids are writing their own story so hopefully we can finish the chapter here. Finish the book on Sunday."
Edmonton did a good job defending in the third period overall, despite giving up the tying marker as they limited Val d'Or's chances for the most part but a good majority of the play was in the Oil Kings end, particularly in the latter part of the frame. Shots in the third were 12-6 for the Foreurs when they tied it.
For the tying goal, off the draw, the puck was pushed back by Anthony Mantha to Guillaume Gelinas at the right point and his shot beat Jarry to make it 3-3.
Shots on goal after three periods were 34-29 for Edmonton.
In the first overtime, Edmonton outshot Val d'Or 12-9 with both teams having some great chances to end it. Second overtime saw a slight edge to Val d'Or, outshooting Edmonton 11-7.
It only took Val d'Or 1:49 to get the game's first goal. Phil Pietroniro was all alone at the left faceoff circle and corraled the puck before wiring a wrist shot past Oil Kings starting goaltender Tristan Jarry to make it a 1-0 game.
After the goal, Edmonton started to get some chances and controlled some of the zone play. Shots on goal nearly eight minutes into the opening frame were 5-4 for Edmonton.
With 11:30 left in the first, Val d'Or starting goaltender Antoine Bibeau made a very nice save on a quick tip-in from the top of the crease by Brett Pollock. Edmonton continued to press and ended up drawing a penalty with their strong forecheck.
On the delayed penalty, Mads Eller picked up a rebound off a Griffin Reinhart point shot and put it into the open cage with Bibeau down and out. That tied the game at 1-1 with 11 minutes to play in the period.
Pollock was sent to the box with 8:27 to go in the opening frame, giving Val d'Or the game's first power play. However, Oil Kings were able to kill it off.
After the first period, shots on goal were 12-10 Val d'Or after a late-period push.
|ROUND ROBIN STANDINGS:
The Oil Kings nearly made it a two-goal lead after Reinhart spotted Bertolucci coming up the middle of the ice only a minute after their 2-1 goal. Bertolucci's deke attempt was denied by Bibeau. After the play was whistled down, Ryan Graves got penalized for interference sending Edmonton to another power play.
Just as that penalty expired, Edmonton struck again. Edgars Kulda picked up the puck in front of the net and zipped to the open side before depositing it into the yawning cage.
Val d'Or's penalty parade continues. Guillaume Gelinas sat for two minutes only 30 seconds after the Kulda goal but Val d'Or is able to kill that one off.
Edmonton was in full control of the game until there was about two minutes left in the second. Randy Gazzola wired a wrist shot from the top of the right circle that beat Jarry glove side to draw Val d'Or back within one.
Shots in the second period were 16-4 for Edmonton. Overall, the shot count was 26-16 Oil Kings through 40 minutes.