March 20th, 2015: Red Deer Rebels 6, Oil Kings 2
The Oil Kings wrapped up their regular season at Rexall Place in game 71 against the Red Deer Rebels on Friday–and boy, was it ugly.
Things didn’t seem too bad going into the third period. The game was tied 2-2 and despite a short-handed goal against (Brooks Maxwell) in the first, Lane Bauer had scored on the powerplay early in the second to even things up with the extra man. Riley Sheen had put the Rebels back up, but luckily, Brandon Baddock scored his 19th of the season late in the period to bring them back to even by the end of the second.
Things really unravelled in the third.
In what was one of the worst periods of Oil Kings hockey in recent memory, the Rebels were able to get four soft goals past Tristan Jarry–playing what I think was one of the sloppiest games of his career–including yet another shorthanded goal, this time by Captain Wyatt Johnson. Even stay-at-home defenseman Nelson Nogier got in on the action, scoring just the 4th goal of his 165-game WHL career. The Oil Kings couldn’t get anything going offensively, either, despite four powerplays in the period–including a double minor for boarding by Grayson Pawlenchuk that became a full 2:00 5-on-3 with another boarding call about a minute later. Brooks Maxwell led the Rebels with a 4-point, +4 night.
It certainly didn’t do anything to instil confidence for the playoffs in the 16,000 fans that showed up to Rexall Place to see the team in their final homegame of the regular season.
The Oil Kings will begin what isn’t expected to be a lengthy playoff run on March 26th when they take on the conference-leading Brandon Wheat Kings.