Promising Oilers prospect Jordan Eberle was the king of Oil Country Thursday night as he paced the Oilers Rookies to a 6-3 win over the Canucks Rookies in Leduc, AB.
The tough stuff started early as Edmonton's Alex Plante and Vancouver's Pierre-Cedric Labrie got caught up in a toussle deep in the Canucks zone and each earned roughing minors.
Play quickly swept back into the Oilers' zone and resulted in the puck getting past goalie Bryan Pitton, but officials ruled it was pushed across the line with a glove and was disallowed.
Less than one minute later, Philippe Cornet accomplished the same feat on the Canucks net, but he used his stick to make it happen and the young Oil took an early 1-0 lead.
With less than five minutes left in the frame and the Oilers Rookies holding an 8-2 shot lead, Mario Bliznak tallied a shorthanded marker to put the Canucks on even terms. But the tie game didn't last long, as Jordan Eberle skated up the slot and snapped the puck past Bobby Nadeau to renew Edmonton's one-goal lead.
The Oilers weren't done with their first-period scoring. With 1:21 left on the clock, Cameron Abney caught a rebound and lifted the puck over Nadeau to give the Alberta boys a 3-1 lead and 14-4 shot advantage heading into the second period.
Seven minutes and four shots per side into the middle frame, the Canucks Rookies got back within one. With help from a deflection, Steven Anthony managed to get the puck past Pitton. Moments later, Dusty Collins got in on the action and tied things up at three at the game's midway point, ushering Kurtis Mucha into the game to man the Oilers net.
Back where they started, the Oilers applied pressure following the goals, pressure that was able to crack fresh Canucks netminder Morgan Clark. With help from captain Jamie Bates, Stepan Novotny posted his first goal of the game to put the Oil back on top.
Riding high from the go-ahead marker, Eberle struck again, patiently holding on to the puck before lifting it above Clark to set the score 5-3 after 40 minutes. THIRD PERIOD
Only 35 seconds into the final frame, Labrie and Oilers rookie Dalton Prout let their emotions get the best of them and dropped their gloves inside the Oilers' zone. Both players earned fighting majors for the altercation. After play continued, a heavy collision involving Mucha soon triggered another battle, this time involving Abney and Collins.
The fisticuffs fired up the young Oil, and former Edmonton Oil Kings captain Jeff Lee made the motivation count. With help from Johan Motin, Lee got the puck past Clark to give Edmonton a 6-3 lead.
With just over eight minutes left in regulation, the Oilers broached the 30-shot mark while the Canucks sat at 25. Both clubs kept pace as the minutes ticked down, but a late tripping penalty to Edmonton's Derek Hulak gave Vancouver the chance to gain some ground on the powerplay.
Although the Canucks managed to tally a 30th shot, the man-advantage would pass without a goal and the Oilers held on for a 6-3 victory in Leduc Thursday night.