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WHL: Oil Kings alive in playoff race despite loss to Red Deer

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The Canadian Press
3/16/2009 12:15:15 AM
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The Edmonton Oil Kings' season isn't over yet.

The final playoff spot in the Western Hockey League's Eastern Conference is still up for grabs after the Oil Kings dropped back-to-back decisions to the Red Deer Rebels, losing 2-1 on Sunday afternoon after being defeated 3-2 on Saturday.

The losses kept Edmonton tied with the Prince Albert Raiders for the eighth and final spot in the conference. The teams will face off Tuesday night in Prince Albert to decide who goes on to face the Calgary Hitmen in the opening round of the playoffs.

It's the fourth tie-breaker game in WHL history and the first since 1989-90, when the Swift Current Broncos defeated the Brandon Wheat Kings 5-4 to take sixth place. Since Tuesday's game is for eighth place, it will the first time a WHL tie-breaker has eliminated a team from the playoffs.

While the Ontario Hockey League and Quebec Major Junior Hockey League wrapped up their regular seasons on Sunday, the WHL has three games remaining. Along with the tie-breaker, the Spokane Chiefs will play two games rescheduled from the weekend, when a large portion of the team was suffering from food poisoning. Spokane will host the Kelowna Rockets on Monday night before heading to Kennewick to face the Americans on Tuesday.

Elsewhere in the WHL, it was: Seattle 10, Everett 0; Tri-City 3, Prince George 1; Calgary 6, Lethbridge 2; and Chilliwack 4, Portland 3.

At Edmonton, Red Deer captain Carter Smith scored both goals for the Rebels (25-37-1-9) while Brendan Dowd had the lone goal for the Oil Kings (29-34-4-5).

Darcy Kuemper made 25 saves for Red Deer, which was already eliminated from playoff contention heading into the weekend. Edmonton netminder Torrie Jung stopped 34 shots.

Thunderbirds 10, Silvertips 0

At Kent, Wash., Jeremy Boyer scored three goals and added an assist to help the Thunderbirds hand Everett its worst defeat in franchise history.

Devon LeBlanc scored twice and Stefan Warg, Luke Lockhart, David Richard, Brad Haber and Jeremy Schappert also scored for Seattle (35-32-1-4), which will open the playoffs in either Kelowna or Spokane on Friday.

Kent Simpston stopped 34 shots for the Silvertips (27-36-7-2), who will face the Tri-City Americans in their first-round series, starting Friday.

Americans 3, Cougars 1

At Kennewick, Wash., Jarrett Toll, Lane Werbowski and Mitch Fadden all scored goals as the Americans beat Prince George to record their franchise-best 30th win on home ice.

Jason Reese added a pair of assists, while Fadden and Taylor Procyshen each had one for U.S. Division champion Tri-City (49-19-0-3), which also reached the 100-point plateau for just the second time in team history.

Prince George (25-44-0-3) affiliate goalie Michael Salmon stopped 39 shots in his WHL debut, while Tyler Halliday scored the Cougars' lone goal.

Hitmen 6, Hurricanes 2

At Lethbridge, Alta., Brett Sonne scored his 48th goal of the season and assisted on two others as Calgary wrapped up the regular season with a win over the Hurricanes.

Brandon Kozun, Kris Foucault, Joel Broda, Carson McMillan and Paul Postma scored for the Hitmen (59-9-3-1), who await the winner of Tuesday's Edmonton at Prince Albert tiebreaker to determine who they will meet in the opening round of the playoffs.

Colton Sceviour scored both goals for Lethbridge - both on the power play - to give him 29 on the season. The Hurricanes (35-32-3-2) will play the Saskatoon Blades in the post-season.

Bruins 4, Winter Hawks 3

At Portland, Ore., Mike Krgovich had two goals and an assist to lead Chilliwack over the Winter Hawks.

The Bruins (19-46-2-5) also got goals from Jeff Einhorn and Brandon Manning, while Matthew Ius and Scott MacDonald had two assists each.

Luke Walker scored all three goals for Portland (19-48-3-2).

 

Edmonton Oil Kings (Photo: TSN)

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(Photo: TSN)
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