The Oilers started the first game of the Vancouver Canucks’ Rookie Tournament strong, physically beating up the Canucks’ young guns. But it was the Canucks who opened the scoring halfway through the first period, on a Darren Archibald goal scored right in the crease of Edmonton goaltender Olivier Roy. It wasn’t long before the Oil struck back, as Curtis Hamilton put one home on a wrist shot from the corner.
The physical play had the Oilers in the box twice early, but the Canucks’ power play couldn’t muster any chances, let alone a goal.
In the latter half of the period, Hamilton looked to give the Oilers the lead as he received a beautiful pass from the first overall pick, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. But Vancouver goalie David Honzik had another idea and robbed him in front of the net. The game was tied at the intermission.
Within two minutes of the second period, the Oilers took the lead when Taylor Fedun made an outlet pass to Tobias Rieder, whose shot rebounded and came to Philippe Cornet, who hammered it into the net.
The Oilers and Curtis Hamilton were looking for more but it was David Honzik who spoiled the party once again, this time deflecting the Hamilton backhander off of the post.
Honzik had Hamilton’s number after the first goal but couldn’t stop Anton Lander on the power play and Martin Gernat’s slapper just 15 seconds later. Edmonton took control of the game and led the shots 19-8 half way through the second.
Lander expanded the lead to four goals with his second power play goal of the night. Before the puck even dropped, Cameron Abney and Sawyer Hannay dropped the gloves. It was a no decision but the game play was still being won buy Edmonton. Antti Tyrvainen and Drew Czerwonka both added goals to give the game a 7-1 score.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored his first point as an Oiler on an assist on the Tyrvainen goal. Karel St. Laurent was subbed in for Honzik after the sixth Oiler goal. The Oilers were dominating and had the Canucks praying for the end of the period so they could attempt to regroup.
At the start of the third, Vancouver tried to gather any sort of spark they could get. Adam Polasek and Colton Tuebert threw down in a fight that had Tuebert knocked down with a punch right under the chin. The favour was returned a few minutes later when Michael Curtis was downed by Tyler Schmidt.
Jordan Schroeder added one for the Canucks in garbage time, but it didn’t change the game.
The Oilers held control of the game and took a 7-2 score into the books.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins was great in his debut making breathtaking passes and controlling the puck. Anton Lander also looked good with two power play goals. Curtis Hamilton may only have scored a single goal, but he also stood out with many chances.
Finally, Olivier Roy had a solid outing allowing only two goals on 24 shots.
The next game is on Tuesday against the Winnipeg Jet’s rookies and it will be streamed on oilers.nhl.com.
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