Edmonton Ryan Nugent-Hopkins battles in a draw with Vancouver's Alex Friesen during second period action between the Oilers Rookies & Canucks Rookies at the South Okanagan Events Centre. The Oilers won 7-2. (Photo by Marissa Baecker / Shoot the Breeze)
The Oilers scored six second-period goals, including a pair by Anton Lander en route to a commanding 7-2 victory in the opening game of the Young Stars Tournament in Penticton, BC.
In the win, Edmonton peppered Vancouver's David Honzik and Karel St. Laurent with 37 shots, while the Canucks could only manage 24 on Olivier Roy.
The Oilers came out physical in the game's opening few minutes, but newcomer Antti Tyrvainen got a little too aggressive when he crunched Vancouver's Sawyer Hannay, drawing a minor for charging.
The Canucks' two-minute power-play passed without incident and the game's early 0-0 score remained on the scoreboard.
Edmonton's rough treatment continued, as hometown boy Colin Smith was assessed a minor for roughing; he pounded Canucks' blueliner Sebastien Erixon into the boards violenty, causing the victim's helmet to pop off in the process.
Thanks in large part to Olivier Roy's quick pad, the Oilers' perfect PK kept up.
Moments later, however, Roy was unable to manufacture a replay. Nicklas Jensen's centering pass was slammed home by Darren Archibald, giving the home-side Canucks a 1-0 lead.
But the Oilers responded just as quickly. Top-line winger Curtis Hamilton directed a tight-angle shot on goal, equalling the score at 10:13 on his team's third shot on net.
Edmonton's late-period surge nearly provided the visitors with the lead when Ryan Nugent-Hopkins centered a pass to Hamilton in the slot. Canucks netminder David Honzik made a sensational sprawling save, preserving the 1-1 deadlock.
The teams skated into the intermission even on the scoreboard, but Edmonton carried a 9-7 shot advantage into the middle stanza.
The Oilers pressured early, cashing on a scoring chance only 1:13 into the period. Catching the Canucks on a lazy change, smooth-skating rearguard Taylor Fedun slid a pretty long-range backhand pass up to Tobias Rieder. His initial shot was turned aside, but Philippe Cornet hammered home the rebound, giving the Oilers a 2-1 edge.
As the period progressed, both teams traded end-to-end chances. The netminders stood tall, however, stoning their opponents and keeping the Oilers' lead on the board.
At 8:31, Vancouver's Bill Sweatt was charged two-minutes, sending Edmonton to the man-advantage. Anton Lander stepped up and sniped home a bullet, putting the Oilers up 3-1 shortly into the power-play.
That was only the beginning. Only 19 seconds later, Martin Gernat got in on the action, blasting a shot past Honzik to put the Oilers up by three at 9:32. By this time, the Oilers had established a commanding 19-8 lead on the shot clock.
With the Canucks again shorthanded, the Oilers' onslaught continued. With the help of Tyrvainen and Cameron Abney, Lander scored his second of the game, putting Edmonton up 5-1 on the team's 21st attempt on Honzik.
On the ensuing draw, Abney used his hands once more; this time, in a more accustomed role. He traded blows with Vancouver's Hannay in a lengthy bout, stirring the packed house in Penticton.
With the crowd amped up, the Oilers continued to fill the net. This time, Tyrvainen and Drew Czerwonka added to the already loaded advantage, putting the Oilers ahead 7-1 with under three minutes to play in the period.
No. 1 overall pick Ryan Nugent-Hopkins added an assist, recording his first point in an Oilers sweater.
The goals prompoted a goalie change, as Vancouver opted for Karel St. Laurent to replace Honzik between the pipes.
The second period ended with the Oilers up 7-1 on the scoreboard and 27-12 on the shot clock.
Only 19 seconds into the period, bad blood boiled over, as Colten Teubert and Vancouver's Adam Polasek dropped the mitts. The two traded punches early, but the Canucks blueliner popped Teubert with a solid blow, sending the 6'4", 190-pounder to the ice.
Teubert appeared woozy, but skated to the box under his own power and stayed in the game.
The Oilers got even when Tyler Schmidt went toe-to-toe with Canucks centre Michael Curtis, pounding him to the ice with a pair of heavy-hitters.
At 14:33, Vancouver's Yann Sauve was assessed a minor penalty for delay of game, sending Edmonton to another man-advantage opportunity. The chance quickly passed and the 7-1 score remained with under three minutes to play.
The Canucks seemed to gain momentum from the kill, ultimately getting one back on the scoreboard as Jordan Schroeder beat a scrambling Roy up high at 17:49. Although the Canucks inched closer, the Oilers carried the dominant 7-2 score to the buzzer.