PENTICTON, B.C. - Oilers forward prospect Jesse Puljujarvi's two-goal night lead to the Oilers Rookies 4-1 win over the Canucks.
A physical game played out between the Oilers and Canucks Rookies, as Vancouver was hungry to make up for last year's 8-2 loss.
Less than two minutes into the opening frame, Oilers forward Patrick Russell fired off the first shot on Vancouver goaltender Thatcher Demko.But four minutes was all the Oilers rookies needed before taking a 1-0 lead early in the first period.
After much perseverance, just before the five-minute mark, Oilers forward Kyle Platzer faked a shot on net, spying Oilers defenceman Marcus Niemelainen just inside the Canucks blue line. Niemalinen received the pass and rocketed a one-timer to the top of Canucks goaltender Thatcher Demko's net, giving Edmonton a 1-0 lead.
Oilers defenceman Ben Betker advanced on the Canucks net, wrapping around the back of the goal and quickly spotting forward Jesse Puljujarvi just below the hash marks. The Finnish forward one-timed the pass into the back of Demko's net, who couldn't get across fast enough, taking a 2-0 lead.
The first half of the second period remained scoreless as the Canucks and Oilers continued to battle. The Canucks first chance came early in the frame as forwards Alexis D'Aoust and Curtis Valk had a 2-on-1 advance but Ellis makes the save.
With less than 10 minutes remaining, Canucks forward Marc-Olivier Roy back-handed the puck, popping it up-and-over Ellis's shoulder, blocker side, cutting the Oilers lead to one.
The start of the third saw the Canucks level the playing field as shots on net were 24-24.
As Vancouver continued to push the Edmonton zone, Puljujarvi increased the Oilers lead by two after receiving a pass from Oilers forward Drake Caggiula. Puljujarvi skated effortlessly down the rink from Edmonton's blueline into the Canucks zone. He fired a shot at the top of the net, glove side, for the Oilers third goal of the night.
Finally, Oilers forward Joey Benik sealed the Canucks fate after Demko was pulled from the net with less than two minutes remaining in the game. Benik followed the puck, sent down the ice by Puljujarvi, tapping it into the net, securing the 4-1 win.
The Oilers take on the Calgary Flames Saturday, at 8:30 p.m. MT.