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WHL: Oil Kings beat Hitmen, advance to WHL final

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The Canadian Press
5/1/2013 12:23:06 AM
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EDMONTON -- Laurent Brossoit made 26 saves and his fifth shutout of the playoffs as the Edmonton Oil Kings defeated the Calgary Hitmen 2-0 on Tuesday in Game 7 the Western Hockey League's Eastern Conference final.

Brossoit now ranks second all-time in WHL single-season playoff shutouts.

Only Dustin Slade of the 2006 Vancouver Giants has recorded more, with six shutouts en route to the championship that season.

Michael St. Croix had both Oil King goals as Edmonton advanced to the WHL final to play the Portland Winterhawks for the Ed Chynoweth Cup for the second year in a row. The defending champion Oil Kings were pushed to a seven-game series in last year's showdown, but held home ice advantage: something they won't possess in this year's final.

Chris Driedger stopped 36 shots in net for the Hitmen.

Calgary nearly scored first just five minutes into the game off Jaynen Rissling's slap pass down low for Jake Virtanen, who deflected it just overtop the net.

St. Croix opened up scoring for the Oil Kings on the transition, finishing off a two-on-one with Stephane Legault around lone defender Rissling at 14:05 of the first period.

Legault came within inches of putting Edmonton up 2-0 at 15:55 of the first, deflecting a feed from the left wing just off the post and back out into play.

St. Croix doubled Edmonton's lead at 4:33 of the second period. After two Calgary blocks in front, St. Croix jumped on the loose puck to whip it behind Driedger to make it 2-0 Edmonton after two periods.

Edmonton was content to shut the game down for a scoreless third period to earn a berth to the finals.

Neither team capitalized on the power play, with both squads earning four chances on the man advantage.

Edmonton Oil Kings (Photo: TSN)

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(Photo: TSN)
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