PENTICTON, BC -
Vancouver’s Curtis Valk scored two goals, including the one that would send the game to overtime, but Edmonton Oilers prospect Mitch Moroz’s second goal of the night was the one that would carry his team to a 4-3 victory.
Moroz scored 2:09 into overtime from the top of the crease.
“It feels good,” Moroz said. “It helps when you’re playing with good players. It was just the benefit of a couple of good plays and getting pucks on net. That’s where I am going to get most of my points so it’s nice to get rewarded for going to those areas.”
The Oilers racked up shots in the first period while making it a rather benign opening 20 minutes for goaltender Laurent Brossoit. Heading into the locker room after the first frame, the Oilers led in shots 17-3 but it wasn’t until their 16th shot of the night that they got a goal.
Greg Chase shot the puck and it was business as usual for Mitch Moroz, who scooped up the puck from behind the net and jammed it in past goaltender Austin Lotz. Moroz, the 32nd-overall pick in the 2012 NHL Draft, has made scoring in front of the net something of a habit in his career with the Edmonton Oil Kings and the game’s first goal was no different.
While it took until there was 49 seconds remaining in the first period to score, the Oilers didn’t wait long to increase their lead in the second. At 1:50 of the middle frame, Vladimir Tkachev found his fellow Russian Bogdan Yakimov, who sniped it top shelf.
“The goal that Yakimov scored was an awesome goal to watch,” Oilers Head Coach Todd Nelson said. “Vladimir came down, got the puck with a lot of speed and he had the presence of mind to pull up and find Yakimov. Then he pulled up and had the presence of mind with the (defender) right there, and he had a great shot. It was a great goal right there. They seemed to work well together.”
Vancouver drew back within one with a goal by Dane Fox, assisted by Hunter Shinkaruk at 3:41 of the second.
The Canucks tied the game when Curtis Valk shot the puck from the top of the circle, far side of Brossoit at 7:27 of that period.
The Oilers killed off over a minute of a 5-on-3 Canucks power play towards the end of the second period, with Brossoit making two big saves.
Tkachev snagged his second assist of the night with a great pass backdoor to Martin Gernat, who buried the go-ahead goal at 3:51 of the third period.
The Canucks once again tied things up, this time with 3:47 left in the game. Valk’s second goal of the game was on the power play and it made things interesting heading into the remaining minutes of regulation.
It was no surprise that Moroz scored his second goal of the night, once again from his sweet spot in front of the net.
“Good things happen when you stay around the net and that’s what Mitch did,” Nelson said. “On the power play goal, he hunted down the rebound and came back and stuck it in. Then the game winner was a nice play by Marco Roy to throw it out front and Mitch was right there. I thought he played a strong game. He was strong on the walls and he did what it took to get the win."
Edmonton plays Calgary Saturday night at 8:30 p.m. MT.