The incredible season for the Edmonton Oil Kings is over.
Marco Constantini made 40 saves and Mason McTavish had three points to lead the Hamilton Bulldogs to a 4-2 win or the Edmonton Oil Kings. The three-point regulation win for the Bulldogs puts them into the Memorial Cup Semi-final on Monday. The loss eliminates the Oil Kings.
The Bulldogs built a 2-0 lead in the first by capitalizing on two power-play opportunities. Logan Morrison, the game’s second star set up Avery Hayes at 9:09. Then Morrison set up Ryan Winterton at 16:47.
After a scoreless second, the tension rose for both teams’ most important third period of the season. The Oil Kings cut the deficit to one at 2:03 with a shorthanded goal. Jaxsen Wiebe, the overtime hero against the Saint John Sea Dogs, set up Jared Luypen for a shorthanded goal. Then, Mason McTavish scored his most important goal as a Bulldog at 13:26 to restore their two-goal lead. Jake Neighbours scored at 17:14 to get it back to one. The games number one star Constantini held on until McTavish potted in an empty net goal to seal it for the Bulldogs.
Constantini was calm and sharp throughout. Especially when star defenceman Nathan Staois went down with an injury early 5:40 in the second period, and when the Oil Kings were pressing in the third, he made 40 saves on 42 shots.
In spite of the heartbreaking loss for the Oil Kings, they can hold their head up high. It was another great night for Sebastian Cossa. He was named the third star, making 32 saves on 35 shots. Simon Kubicek led the way with six shots on goal. Jakub Demek had five. They will wonder what could have been if they had a healthy Dylan Guenther in their lineup. The ninth overall pick in the 2021 NHL Draft missed the tournament with a foot injury in the WHL Final.
The Bulldogs await the results of the Cataractes and Sea Dogs tomorrow to see who they play on Monday in the semi-final. If the Sea Dogs win in regulation, they will advance to the Final on Wednesday and the Bulldogs play the Cataractes. If the Cataractes get a point, they will advance to the Final and the Bulldogs will play the Sea Dogs