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Oilers get jump on Canucks, win big

by Ryan Pinder
Two games, and two lopsided scores in Penticton on Sunday's Day 1 of the Young Stars Tournament.

After the Flames Prospects got beaten 6-1 in the afternoon by the San Jose Sharks, the tournament hosting Vancouver Canucks got picked apart by the Edmonton Oilers, 7-2.

Much like the earlier game at the South Okanagan Events Centre, goaltending was an issue for the losing side. The Oilers did most of their scoring early, beating Vancouver starter David Honzik six times before Karel St. Laurent spelled him between the pipes midway through the match.

St. Laurent fared much better than his predecessor allowing just a single goal in a half game appearance.

Olivier Roy lived up to his last name on this night for the Oilers, as he backstopped the Albertans to a win to start their week in Penticton.

The Oilers got a pair of tallies from Anton Lander – a 20-year-old Swede selected in the second round of the 2009 Entry Draft. Kamloops Blazers forward Colin Smith had two assists in the win as one of the youngest players on the ice.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins drew the largest cheer when he was announced as part of  the starting online-up for the game. For the second-straight year, Oilers Nation has flooded the Okanagan in big numbers (draped in orange and blue garb) to get a peek at an impressive stable of talented young kids. While outnumbered by the team of choice in BC, the Oilers fans could be heard starting chants around the rink.

The ‘Nuge’ or ‘R.N.H.’ (which ever handle you prefer for the top pick in the draft) finished the night with an assist, as did Nicklas Jensen, the Canucks top pick in June, but both were upstaged by some big-time fisticuffs midway through the game.

First Cameron Abney and Sawyer Hannay slugged it out in a lengthy fight late in the second period, and that hostility seemed to carry over to the third. In the early going then, two shorter scraps ensued with each the Oilers and Canucks benches taking a turn cheering a one-sided tussel.

In the late going Jordan Schroeder potted the second and final goal of the game for the Canucks.

Schroeder is coming off an AHL season that left more to be desired offensively, and the fans were vocal in their applause for his strike, which happened to be the only tally of a 9-goal game that occurred in the third period.
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