Oil Kings claim WHL championship
The Edmonton Oil Kings built an early lead on Sunday and never relinquished it for a 4-1 victory over the Portland Winterhawks to win the Western Hockey League's Ed Chynoweth Cup.
Edmonton now advances to the Memorial Cup for the first time in modern franchise history.
Rhett Rachinski, Tyler Maxwell, Michael St. Croix and T.J. Foster had the goals for Edmonton, who advance to the Canadian junior hockey championship tournament, played May 18-27 in Shawinigan, Que.
Oliver Gabriel scored Portland's only goal of the game, putting a small dent in the Oil Kings' 4-0 lead. The loss was just the second game of the series that was separated by more than one goal.
There have now been ten finals in WHL history that have gone to Game 7 and the road team has never won.
Rachinski opened up the scoring just 1:51 into the first period on a broken play. Jordan Peddle's shot deflected off a defender right onto Rachinski's stick, who had an open net for the backhand.
Portland netminder Mac Carruth kept the Winterhawks in the game halfway through the first with a glove save against Foster on a two-on-one, getting just enough of it to deflect into the stands as he sprawled in the crease.
Maxwell made it 2-0 for the Oil Kings on a transition play from centre ice, taking a feed from Kristians Pelss and burying it glove side on netminder Carruth in the dying seconds of the first.
Early in the second, St. Croix added to Edmonton's lead.
Foster then put the game out of reach with the Oil Kings' fourth goal, and his third of the playoffs, on transition offence with Peddle. Foster put a wrist shot up high to the corner with a sniper halfway through the second.
Gabriel's goal came moments later, splitting the defence and picking the corner past Oil King goalie Laurent Broissoit.
Broissoit finished the game with 19 saves, only facing four shots in the third period, while Carruth stopped 28 shots.