March 17th was an historical night for the Edmonton Oil Kings. For the first time in 30 years and first time in modern franchise history, the Edmonton Oil Kings are playoff bound after beating Prince Albert 2-1 in front of a sold out crowd at the Art Hauser Centre. The game marked only the fourth time in WHL history a tie-breaker game has decided the final playoff spot.
Rookie Rhett Rachinski scored the game winner at 8:54 in overtime securing the Oil Kings a spot in the Western Hockey League playoffs. Battle of Alberta will begin as the Oil Kings take on the Calgary Hitmen in the first round beginning Thursday March 19th. Tickets are now on sale for games three and four at Rexall Place on Monday March 23rd and Wednesday March 25th at Ticketmaster locations, online at oilkings.ca or by calling (780) 409-3700.
"It's probably one of the best feelings I've ever had in my life," described an elated Rachinski after the game. "I'm glad we won and I'm glad we're in the playoffs. I saw the puck pop out from behind the net and I knew the goalie was on the other side of the post so I tried to tuck it in as quickly as I could. Fortunately for me, the goalie didn't have time to react, I'm just feeling great right now."
It was no doubt the biggest goal of the 17-year-old's career and it was definitely the biggest goal in franchise history.
"It was awesome," described Oil Kings Head Coach Steven Pleau. "Prince Albert was great. It was a heck of a hockey game, something we worked for all year."