EDMONTON, AB -- The Edmonton Oil Kings captured the Ed Chynoweth Cup as WHL champions, defeating the Portland Winterhawks 4-1 in Game 7 of the 2012 WHL Championship series on Sunday at Rexall Place in Edmonton, AB.
Michael St. Croix and T.J. Foster each tallied a goal and an assist as the Oil Kings opened up a 4-0 lead through the first 30 minutes of the game in a solid performance to win the deciding game of what was a thrilling best-of-seven series between the two clubs.
Rhett Rachinski and Tyler Maxwell scored in the first period, with Rachinski’s goal opening the scoring just 1:51 into the contest. Maxwell put the Oil Kings up with just 18 seconds left in the opening period.
Oliver Gabriel finally got the Winterhawks on the board with his third goal in two games. But, it was not to be for the Hawks, who suffer defeat in their second straight WHL Championship series appearance.
Laurent Brossoit turned in a 19-save effort for the Oil Kings in the victory. The 19-year-old from Surrey B.C., posted a 2.82 goals-against average and a .910 save percentage over the seven-game series to earn the MVP of the WHL Championship series.
“I’m speechless…it’s just such a good feeling, and I’m going to enjoy it while it lasts,” Brossoit told SHAW’s Andy Neal. “(Getting the MVP) is the icing on the cake. We played such a great game, defensively, that I didn’t really have to do much tonight…we win as a team.”
Mac Carruth made 28 saves in a losing cause for the Winterhawks.
It’s the first WHL championship for the modern incarnation of the Oil Kings in their five-year existence, and the first championship for an Edmonton-based franchise since the original Oil Kings won back-to-back titles in 1971 and ’72. That Oil Kings franchise would eventually relocate to Portland to become the Winterhawks.
The Oil Kings will now head to Shawinigan, QC, to represent the WHL at the 2012 MasterCard Memorial Cup. The Oil Kings will join the host Shawinigan Cataractes, the OHL champion London Knights and the QMJHL champion and defending Memorial Cup champion Saint John Sea Dogs at the tournament, which begins on Friday.