The host Saint John Sea Dogs – featuring a pair of Calgary Flames prospects – were back in action on Wednesday night at the Memorial Cup. This time, they faced the Edmonton Oil Kings, who were coming off a loss on Tuesday night against Shawinigan. The Sea Dogs were good, the Oil Kings were desperate, and the result was a really entertaining 4-3 overtime victory for Edmonton.
Edmonton got out to an early lead, with a pair of goals in the first five minutes of the first period. Saint John rallied back, scoring three goals of their own in the next five minutes of the first period.
That’s right: five goals were scored in the first 10 minutes of this game, with the Sea Dogs’ go-ahead goal coming right at the 10 minute mark of the opening period.
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The Oil Kings tied things up at 3-3 midway through the second period, and then the two teams battled for the remainder of regulation before heading to overtime.
The Canadian Hockey League changed a couple rules for this tournament, with two tweaks being relevant here. First: regulation wins are worth three standings points, overtime wins two points, overtime losses one point, and regulation losses zero points. Second: overtime is now three-on-three.
The second rule change was important, because the Saint John/Edmonton three-on-three was awesome. It ended after a very eventful 8:05 of back-and-forth chances, Oil Kings forward Jaxsen Wiebe zoomed up the ice and beat Sea Dogs netminder Nikolas Hurtubise short-side to give Edmonton a much-needed win.
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The goal completed a hat-trick for Wiebe (Carter Souch had the other Edmonton goal). Raivis Ansons, Josh Lawrence and William Dufour scored for Saint John. The Oil Kings were 2-for-4 on the power play, while Saint John was 0-for-4 on their advantages.
Flames prospect Yan Kuznetsov had an assist, a plus-two rating, five shots on goal and two minor penalties (delay of game and roughing). Jeremie Poirier had no points, a plus-two rating and two shots on goal. Both featured prominently in Saint John’s efforts in overtime (and neither was on the ice for the game-deciding goal against the Sea Dogs).
Heading into Thursday’s games, here’s how the standings look:
  • Saint John has four points off a regulation win (over Hamilton) and an overtime loss (to Edmonton).
  • Shawinigan has three points off a regulation win (over Edmonton).
  • Edmonton has two points from an overtime win (over Saint John) and a regulation loss (to Shawinigan).
  • Hamilton has zero points from a regulation loss (to Saint John).
Hamilton really needs a regulation win against Shawinigan on Thursday, because their path to the semi-final gets really challenging if they lose.
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