CALGARY, AB- The Edmonton Oil Kings haven't been given much of a chance in their first ever playoff series in modern franchise history.
Facing the No.2 ranked team in the country, the Calgary Hitmen the Oil Kings have been tagged the supreme underdog. Nobody is picking the Oil Kings to win the Eastern Conference quarter-final series and not many are picking them to win a game.
Sunday, they almost pulled off the monumental upset, but lost a heart breaker 2-1 in overtime to the Hitmen.
Oil Kings netminder Torrie Jung was sensational making 54 saves, but Carson McMillan deflected a Paul Postma point shot at the 9:04 mark of overtime to play the role of hero.
Oil Kings forward Shayne Neigum scored the first ever playoff goal in modern franchise history in the second period, and Kris Focault tied the game at 1-1 late in the third period to round out the scoring.
"I can't ask for anything more. They played with heart, they played with character, they have all year," said Oil Kings head coach Steve Pleau.
Despite the loss, Jung put forth one of the most memorable performances as he made big time stops robbing the high powered offence of the Hitmen time and time again.
You look at Calgary during the regular season, and they scored 330 goals," said Jung.
"I like the pressure, I like the challenge, and we almost had it today."
Calgary finished the special teams during the regular season with the top power play and penalty killing units. Their power play got a ton of work in the first period as the Oil Kings took four straight penalties four minutes apart giving Calgary three, two man advantages. Between excellent goaltending from Jung and stingy play from the Oil Kings penalty killers, the Oil Kings came out unscathed.
Calgary outshot the Oil Kings 40-7 combined in the first and third periods. The Oil Kings were outshot 20-1 in the third period as the Hitmen pressed for the tying goal.
"What can I say? He's unbelievable. He's been there all year," said Pleau.
"Were not even here if it weren't for Junger. Were at the point now where we expect it, and we build off of it. He gives us all our energy and all our belief in what we do."
After getting outshot 20-4 in the first period, Edmonton put forth a strong second period, and they started to get some chances with the power play. Their penalty killing came though in the first period, and their power play came up big in the second period cashing in on their first two man advantage as Neigum roofed a shot over the shoulder of Martin Jones, who made 24 saves in the win.
The Oil Kings had the Hitmen on the ropes, and until Focault's tying goal late in the third period.
"We showed our battle level," said Pleau.
"I thought the second period was a great period for us and it's something we can build off of. They came back in the third, and they were tremendous in the third.
"What can I say? It was just an incredible game."