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BLOG: Keeping things close

by Chris Wescott / Edmonton Oilers

In a pivotal game three in their WHL finals series against Portland, the Edmonton Oil Kings would sure like to grab the early lead. This would turn the tables on the Winterhawks who scored 2:50 into the first period in game one and twice in the first four minutes of game two.

“I think those games look a little differently if we don’t spot them two and three goal leads,” Edmonton forward Mitch Moroz said. “That’s hard to battle back from. I know we’re a resilient team but when you get down against a team like Portland, who’s always on their toes and turning the puck up, you are behind in the fight and you’ve got to find it in yourselves to get yourself that early lead. That’ll be the game plan tonight.”

Although scoring the first goal would be nice, Edmonton Head Coach Derek Laxdal told the media this morning that even just keeping the game close would be a success.

“It’s not about scoring the first goal, it’s about keeping the game close and within striking distance,” the head coach said. “Even when we were down 2-0 after the first five minutes the other night, I didn’t mind where we were. We had a lot of hockey left to play in that game and if we get the first goal it gets us to 2-1 and now the game is close. But when it gets to 3-0 we start chasing that game and we have to start opening up a little bit. But we want to keep the game close. If we get the first goal tonight then so be it. It will create a little confidence and a little energy in our team.”

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