The University of Alberta Golden Bears edged the Edmonton Oilers Rookies at Clare Drake Arena on Monday night, winning 2-1 in front of a sold out crowd. Colin McDonald scored the lone goal for Edmonton.
"Our guys were a little tired I thought coming off a pretty tough camp up in Yellowknife but they played hard," Oilers head coach Craig MacTavish said after the game. "They played with some smarts and some more structure."
Andrew Cogliano made his debut in an Oilers uniform tonight and MacTavish thought he did well.
"The guys that you want to stand out did I thought. Dubnyk looked good and Cogliano looked good," he said.
Cogliano, who wore the captain's C for the Oilers Rookies was disappointed with the outcome.
"I don't think I could have worked any harder than I did," he said. "I had some chances that I think I should have put in the net but it just didn't happen."
Because he was the captain, Cogliano took the loss hard.
"That's why I'm taking it a little rough right now. I think this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me. I think I could have done a little bit better but I think I worked as hard as possible," he said. "I left everything on the ice but it just didn't work out tonight."
Oilers rookie netminder Glenn Fisher came up big seven minutes into the opening period as he came out to challenge Dylan Stanley. Stanley got in behind the Oilers defence but Fisher swatted the puck away before he could make a move.
Near the midway point of period one, the Oilers rookies struck for the game’s first goal. During a four-on-four situation, Colin McDonald scored to make it a 1-0 game.
"It was kind of a broken play in the neutral zone. O'Marra picked it up and swung wide on my off-side. He made a nice pass," McDonald said. "One of our guys, I'm not sure who it was, was behind us. I was thinking shot the whole way, I wasn't going to pass that up."
Oilers rookies almost doubled their lead a couple minutes later after Andrew Cogliano made a nice play across the slot to Jordan Foreman. Foreman’s shot just missed, going high over the net.
On a Bears power play with six minutes to go in the first, Fisher made another big save. He came out to the top of the crease to challenge Stanley and was able to kick out his screened shot from the slot.
With less than five minutes to go in the first, Cogliano picked up the puck on the rush and snuck in behind the Golden Bears defence. U of A goaltender Aaron Sorochan made a nice save to keep it a one-goal game.
After one period, the Oilers Rookies had a 1-0 lead and were outshooting the Golden Bears 11-8.
With Vitaly Karamnov in the penalty box for tripping, Fisher made a brilliant save on Richard Hamula. The shot came from the bottom of the left circle through a screen but Fisher was able to snag it out of the air with his glove.
At the 7:22 mark of period two, University of Alberta finally struck for their first goal of the night. Jason Fransoo threaded a pass over to Bryan Woolger and he fired a shot far side to tie the game at 1-1.
Following the Golden Bears goal, the Oilers Rookies started to pick up their play. Milan Kytnar
came within inches of scoring as he redirected a pass from the side of the net. Sorochan kicked his right leg out and got a toe on it. Devan Dubnyk
replaced Glenn Fisher midway through the second and it didn’t take long to get him into the game. He slid across to break up a University of Alberta two-on-one opportunity and keep the game tied.
Following a sequence of penalties that saw the Oilers have a brief four-on-three man advantage, Lee Zalasky of the Golden Bears had a breakaway after coming out of the penalty box. He tried to deke out Dubnyk but the Edmonton netminder stayed with him and forced him to shoot wide.
U of A took a 2-1 lead with 30 seconds left in the second period. With Ryan O’Marra serving his third penalty of the game, Tim Krymusa teed up a shot from the high slot that beat Dubnyk top corner.
After two, the University of Alberta had a 2-1 edge on the Oilers and were outshooting their opponents 24-20.
Grenier made a huge save midway through the third to preserve the lead for his side. O’Marra had the puck behind the net and found McDonald in front. Grenier was able to get down low and deny the one-timer attempt.
With less than five minutes to go in the third, the Oilers Rookies had a brief two-man advantage but were unable to convert.
In the final minute, penalties to Sebastien Bisaillion and Theo Peckham
stymied any chance of a comeback. NOTES:
The Oilers Rookies are now 9-11-0 all-time against the U of A dating back to 1988-89... Alex Plante
(back) did not play due to injury, with Bretton Stamler replacing him in the lineup on defence… Bryan Pitton (high ankle sprain) also did not play. Devan Dubnyk
suited up in his place… Before the game, Oilers prospect Sam Gagner
was honoured for his performance in the Super Series as the tournament MVP and leading scorer… Andrew Cogliano wore the captain's "C" for Edmonton tonight with the A's going to Geoff Paukovich and David Rohlfs... Slava Trukhno played the point on the first power play unit most of the night… An obscure trivia fact: tonight was the last time the Oilers will ever wear their old-style uniforms. The new uniforms will debut on Sunday for the Joey Moss Cup.