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Oilers open tourney with 4-1 win

by Jen Sharpe / Edmonton Oilers
Magnus Paajarvi celebrates after scoring his second goal vs. Vancouver in the opening game of the Young Stars Rookie Tournament in Penticton, BC. The Oilers went on to win 4-1. (Photo by Derek Jory / Vancouver Canucks Hockey Club)



Although the Canucks held a shot lead throughout the game, strong goaltending from Olivier Roy and solid shots by Magnus Paajarvi and Jordan Eberle pushed the Oilers to a 4-1 win in the opening game of the Young Stars Rookie Tournament in Penticton, BC.

Paajarvi finished with two goals, Eberle with one thanks to a sweet set-up from Taylor Hall, and Roy had 28 saves in the victory.


The Oilers took an early lead on the shot clock, and five minutes in, the effort paid off in a goal. With a crowd of players in front of the net, Magnus Paajarvi scooped the puck past Canucks goalie Eddie Lack to make it 1-0 Oil.

The Canucks narrowed the shot gap following the opening goal, but Olivier Roy kept the home team from evening up the score.

In the final six minutes of the period, the Canucks finally made some ground, however. From the low slot, Kevin Connauton flipped the puck past Roy to tie the game at one.

With four minutes remaining, Alex Plante and Taylor Ellington dropped their gloves near the benches. In addition, Vancouver's Matt Fraser took a slashing minor, but Edmonton was unable to capitalize on the powerplay.

The Canucks made a valiant attempt to take control with 26 seconds left on the clock, but Roy robbed the blue rookies to maintain the tie game.

After 20 minutes, the shot-clock read 12-10 in favour of the Canucks.


Two minutes into the middle frame, Fraser pounced on a loose puck and broke in on Roy, but the Oilers goalie made another solid save to keep things even.

At 14:17, the Canucks benefited from their first powerplay thanks to a holding minor to Chris Vande Velde. Connauton came within inches of giving Vancouver the lead one minute into the man-advantage, but Roy's left post got in the way.

Vancouver used the powerplay to jump ahead 17-12 in shots by the game's midway point.

Shortly after the Canucks made a goalie switch to give Michael Houser some time between the pipes, Paajarvi struck again. From mid slot, he fired straight into the net to renew Edmonton's lead.

Connauton attempted to counter moments later, but Roy kept up his stellar play by coming up with an incredible diving stick save.

With four minutes on the clock, Edmonton's Kristians Pelss was called for interference but Vancouver failed to capitalize.

The Canucks were the first to break 20 shots but the Oilers were the first to reach three goals. With 1:26 left in the middle frame, Taylor Hall set up Jordan Eberle for a top-shelf snipe that set the score 3-1 heading into the third.


A handful of penalties to both Oilers and Canucks kept the penalty box doors swinging in the first half of the third, but the goalies kept the 3-1 score intact.

Vancouver maintained a strong shot lead but struggled to get the puck past Roy. In the game's dying minutes, the Canucks pulled Houser in favour of six skaters, but the extra attacker only resulted in an empty-netter for Tyler Pitlick and the Oilers came out on top of a 4-1 decision.

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