The Medicine Hat Tigers were looking for a way to settle a wild game down when Sean Ringrose's goal took the wind out of the Edmonton Oil Kings' sails.
Tied with the visiting Oil Kings 4-4 heading into the third period, Ringrose scored a gritty goal to give the Hat Tigers a 5-4 victory Wednesday in Western Hockey League action. The victory before 4,006 fans at The Arena allowed the Tigers (4-2-2-1) to remain a perfect 10-0 over the Oil Kings (4-4-1), who began play in September of 2007.
"A lot of nights we would lose a game like that," said Tigers head coach and general manager Willie Desjardins. "It is good to know we won it.
"We scored a goal and that allowed us to stay on top of them. They had to come to us more."
After two periods of play, the score may have been tied, but the Oil Kings were outshooting the Tigers 26-18. Ringrose said his club talked about settling things down in the second intermission. The Tigers outshot the visitors 8-7 in the final frame.
The overage centre was impressed by how hard the second-year Edmonton squad played.
"I thought we came out hard, and they did too," said Ringrose, who had an assist to go with his goal. "They were ready to play tonight. In the end, we were able to squeak one out."
Unlike last season when the Oil Kings were in their expansion year, the Tigers were not a sure winner in this one. Wednesday's match contained five lead changes.
Elsewhere in the WHL it was: Tri-City 7 Moose Jaw 1; Prince George 3 Prince Albert 2; and Regina 5 Kootenay 4.
At Medicine Hat, Alta., John Stampohar, Tyler Ennis, Jace Coyle and Brennan Bosch also scored for the Tigers.
Brett Breitkreuz had a pair for the Oil Kings, while T.J. Foster and Jeff Lee also scored.
After Bosch tied the match at 9:06 of the second period, the Oil Kings pulled 16-year-old netminder Cam Lanigan, who turned away just six of the 10 shots he faced. Dalyn Flette turned away 15 of 16 shots in relief.
Ryan Holfeld went the distance in net for the Tigers turning away 29 of 33 shots.
When the dust settled, Oil Kings head coach Steve Pleau was pleased with the performance of his club.
"I thought we played well," said Pleau. "I thought we executed well. I thought our power play was good. I thought our penalty kill was good. I thought our forecheck is where we needed it to be."
The only thing missing from the Edmonton effort was the win.
"It doesn't feel good," said Pleau reflecting on the loss. "We want to win these games. That is what we have to learn."
Americans 7 Warriors 1
At Moose Jaw, Sask., Jarrett Toll scored once and added three assists as Tri-City rolled to a victory over the Warriors.
Taylor Procyshen added a goal and two assists while Jason Gardiner, Adam Hughesman, Jordan Messier, Brett Plouffe and Jarrett Toll all had singles for the Americans (5-2-0-0).
Nathan MacMaster had the lone goal for Moose Jaw (4-4-0-0), the first of his WHL career.
Cougars 3 Raiders 2
At Prince George, B.C., Dana Tyrell had two goals and an assist, while linemate Brett Connolly had three assists as the Cougars defeated Prince Albert.
Cougars captain Tyrell and defenceman Cameron Cepek scored in the third period to improve Prince George's record to 6-1-0-0.
Captain Dustin Cameron and defenceman Ryan Button scored for the Raiders (4-4-0).
Pats 5 Ice 4
At Regina, Brett Leffler had two goals and an assist to lead the Pats to a victory over Kootenay.
Colten Teubert, Matt Streuby and Jordan Eberle also scored for the Pats (4-2-2).
Andrew Bailey, Steele Boomer and Kevin King each scored for Kootenay (2-5-3).