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St. Croix powers Oil Kings past Winterhawks, keeps Edmonton alive in WHL final

Saturday, 05.11.2013 / 1:24 AM / News

The Canadian Press

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St. Croix powers Oil Kings past Winterhawks, keeps Edmonton alive in WHL final

PORTLAND, Ore. - Michael St. Croix's third goal of the game at 7:24 of overtime saved the Edmonton Oil Kings' season, as they downed the Portland Winterhawks 3-2 in Game 5 of the Western Hockey League finals.

Dylan Wruck assisted on all three goals for the Oil Kings, who now trail the series 3-2 heading into Sunday's Game 6 in Edmonton.

Joey Baker and Brendan Lepsic scored for Portland, which had won the previous three games in the series.

Baker scored unassisted on the first rush of the game, splitting a pair of defenders and sliding the puck past Edmonton goalie Lauren Brossoit to make it 1-0 just 15 seconds into the first period.

Edmonton answered at 10:14 of the first when a centring feed by St. Croix went off the skate of Portland's Nicolas Petan and into the net.

In the third period, Portland goaltender Mac Carruth strayed far from his crease to the left boards play a dump-in by the Oil Kings, and ended up giving the puck away to Wruck, who found St. Croix in front with open net for the go-ahead goal with 12:59 to play in the third.

The Winterhawks rallied to force overtime when Leipsic's backhand from a bad angle beat Brossoit high with 5:55 left in regulation.

Brossoit made 49 saves on 51 Portland shots, while Carruth stopped 27 shots in defeat.

Portland went 0 for 2 on the power play, while Edmonton never had the man advantage.

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The groove of being behind a bench is going to be interesting at first, but thank God we have a few exhibition games to get rid of those cobwebs. Overall the excitement of it all and the freshness and coming back refreshed, all those things are going to be assets. If [the players] come ready to give their best effort in practice and games, good things are going to happen. I'm always looking for results. It's not always on the scoreboard. It's winning and building something.

— Bryan Trottier on making his return to coaching as an assistant with the Sabres