Ice come to end of playoff road with gruesome loss to Oil Kings


The Winnipeg Ice reached the end of the playoff road in Edmonton Friday night.

It was a gruesome conclusion for the visitors, who spotted the Oil Kings a 4-0 first-period lead en route to a 7-1 loss for Winnipeg in Game 5 of the WHL’s Eastern Conference final at Rogers Place.

The result gave the Oil Kings a 4-1 win in the best-of-seven series.

Edmonton exploded for three goals in a span of 55 seconds early in the first and added a fourth before the period was done.

Carter Souch scored at 4:05 and Jake Neighbours quickly struck for a pair to boost the lead to 3-0.

Oil Kings defenceman Kaiden Guhle made it 4-0 at 10:18 of the opening period, signalling the end of the night for Ice starter Gage Alexander, who made only five saves.

Souch, with his ninth of the playoffs, and Guhle, with his fifth, added their second goals in middle period.

Jakub Demek added a power-play marker late in the second period. Souch and Demek added a pair of assists each.

Daniel Hauser stopped 25 of 28 shots in relief.

Sebastian Cossa made 19 saves in the Edmonton net. His shutout bid was spoiled by Connor McClennon’s eighth goal of the playoffs with less than three minutes remaining in the game.

The Oil Kings, 7-0 on home ice in the post-season, advanced to the league final against the winner of the Western Conference between the Seattle Thunderbirds and Kamloops Blazers.

Ice defenceman Ben Zloty and forward Chase Wheatcroft did not finish the game due to unspecified injuries.

Edmonton went 1-for-4 on the power play. Winnipeg was 0-for-3.

BLUE-LINES: Winnipeg centre Matt Savoie (upper body) missed his third consecutive game after being injured in Game 2… Friday’s three stars were: 1. Carter Souch, Edmonton (two goals, two assists, six shots); 2. Jake Neighbours, Edmonton (two goals, three shots); 3. Dylan Guenther, Edmonton (four assists, eight shots)… The Canadian Hockey League announced Friday it has awarded the 2023 Memorial Cup to the Kamloops Blazers. The Blazers have not hosted the national championship of major-junior hockey since winning the title in 1995. Kamloops also won the championship in 1994 and ‘92.