Michael St. Croix (Edmonton Oil Kings)
The Canadian juniors resumed their playoff action with the Edmonton Oil Kings hosting the Calgary Hitmen in the WHL's version of the "Battle of Alberta" in game one of their WHL Eastern Conference Finals. Edmonton is looking for their 2nd straight WHL Championship and a return trip to the Memorial Cup.
Game 1 was one of those affairs where Edmonton did everything right except for one thing, they didn't score more goals than Calgary did as the Calgary Hitmen with a goal at 1:44 of the first overtime to steal game 1 3-2. The Hitmen despite being outshot 35-19 did enough to steal home ice advantage away from the Oil Kings.
Calgary took a page right out of the Edmonton playbook by scoring just 1:25 into the game and it was the only goal scored in the period. Edmonton despite holding Calgary to 3 shots in the first period trailed 1-0.
In the second period Calgary made it a 2-0 lead on a power play goal at 3:32 as Edmonton despite controlling play was in a hole. Michael St. Croix (NYR 2011 4th) helped get Edmonton back in the game with his passing skills as he fed Trevor Cheeks for an even strength goal at 13:42.
Edmonton trailed after 2 periods 2-1 despite holding an 27-12 edge in shots. In the 3rd period Edmonton tied the game up on a goal by Henrik Samuelsson and forced overtime. St. Croix and his linemates almost score the winner for Edmonton during the latter stages of the period.
Edmonton was swarming on Calgary and in the first minute of overtime hit the post. Calgary took the puck down ice and scored the game winner. Griffin Reinhart (NYI 2012 1st) was scoreless and a -1 for the game as Edmonton looks to regroup.
St. Croix is 6-7-13 in 10 playoff games and Edmonton looks to regroup Friday night in game 2.
Going to save the scouting report on the latest free agent Ranger signing Michael Kantor for early next week.
I have some really good friends who live in the Boston area and I pray that they along with everyone else stays safe. Lets hope that the only person who gets hurt is the piece of garbage running from the law.