PREVIEW: Oil Kings @ Prince Albert Raiders 10.03.23
EDMONTON OIL KINGS (2-1-0-1) @ PRINCE ALBERT RAIDERS (2-2-0-0) – October 3, 2023 – Art Hauser Centre – 7:00 PM
2023-24 Schedule vs. Prince Albert Raiders
Tuesday, Oct 3 @ Prince Albert
Saturday, Oct 7 @ Edmonton
Friday, Jan 19 @ Edmonton
Friday, Mar 8 @ Prince Albert
2023-24 vs. Prince Albert: 0-0-0-0 Home: 0-0-0-0 Away: 0-0-0-0 PP: 0/0 (0.0%) PK: 0/0 (0.0%)
2022-23 vs. Prince Albert: 0-3-1-0 Home: 0-1-1-0 Away: 0-2-0-0 PP: 2/16 (12.5%) PK: 4/16 (75.0%)
Who We’re Watching
#43 Adam Jecho
First-year Oil Kings forward Adam Jecho enters this week’s road trip on a roll after collecting his first career WHL goal, first career WHL multi-goal and first career WHL three-point game on Sunday against the Lethbridge Hurricanes. The Zlin, Czechia product is averaging a point per-game in the early going this season with 4 points (2G, 2A) in four games. The 6-foot-5, 201-pound center is expected to be picked in one of the first few rounds at the 2024 NHL Draft and has already shown why finding instant chemistry on a line with Aidan Litke. Prior to joining the Oil Kings, Jecho played his U18 hockey in Finland putting up 47 points (21G, 26A) in just 37 games with Tappara. He has also represented his country at three separate Hlinka-Gretzky Cups, most recently earning a silver medal at this past summer’s tournament.
“He’s been outstanding. I liked his game all-around today (Sunday), I thought defensively he was fairly sound and those goals he scored we’re really nice ones, so good for him. I think we still haven’t seen the best of him yet and it’s going to be an exciting future for Adam.” – Oil Kings Head Coach Luke Pierce
Tonight marks the first of four meetings this season between the Oil Kings and Raiders, and first of two this week with a return match set for Saturday, October 7 at Rogers Place.
The Oil Kings come in having picked up points in three of their first four games and are coming off a wild 8-5 win over the Lethbridge Hurricanes on Sunday afternoon at Rogers Place, snapping a 13-game winless streak at home.
The Oil Kings scored eight goals for the first time in a game since a 9-1 win over the Saskatoon Blades back on February 19, 2022 (90gp since). The Oil Kings most goals in a game a season ago was five, a total they achieved twice (vs BDN, Nov 18 – @ CGY, Feb 4).
Leading the way for the Oil Kings was Rilen Kovacevic and Adam Jecho as both registered their first career WHL multi-goal games in the win, and first career three-point games (2G, 1A each). For Jecho, it was his first ever goals in the WHL. Captain Rhett Melnyk extended his point streak to three games with an assist on Vojtech Port’s first goal of the season. Marshall Finnie continued his torrid pace to open the season collecting his fourth goal in as many games. Nathan Pilling followed up his season debut on Friday in which he scored twice with a single on Sunday. Between the pipes, Logan Cunningham made 39 saves for his first victory of the campaign. Overage blueliners Marc Lajoie and Jacob Hoffrogge were plus/minus achievers with Lajoie a career-best +5 in the game and Hoffrogge, also a career-best, +4 in the game.
The Oil Kings and Raiders meet tonight for the 63rd time in the regular season, all-time. The Oil Kings hold a record of 30-22-6-4 in the all-time season series but have not defeated the Raiders since February 26, 2022 (5-2) going 0-3-1-0 since. Their last win in PA came on February 5, 2022, also by a 5-2 margin.
Last season, the Oil Kings were led offensively in the season series by a pair of blueliners with Carter Kowalyk putting up 3 points (2G, 1A) in 4gp and Vojtech Port counting for 3 points (0G, 3A) as well but in only 3gp.
The Raiders come in with an even record of 2-2-0-0 on the season bookending a pair of road losses with home wins over Moose Jaw (4-0) and Regina (4-3).
- D Carter Kowalyk is 2 games away from 100 career games.
- F Nathan Pilling is 9 games away from 100 career games.
- F Ty Nash is 3 goals away from 50 career goals.
- D Marc Lajoie is 4 points away from 100 career points.
- F Ty Nash, upper-body, month-to-month (Games missed: 4).
- F Gavin Hodnett, upper-body, 2-4 weeks (Games missed: 4).
- F Treycen Wuttunee, upper-body, 2-4 weeks (Games missed 4).
- D Carter Kowalyk, upper-body, week-to-week (Games missed: 3).
- F Rhett Melnyk is on a 3-game assist and point streak (0G-3A-3PTS).
- F Nathan Pilling is on a 2-game goal and point streak (3G-0A-3PTS).
- F Aidan Litke is on a 2-game assist and point streak (0G-3A-3PTS).
- F Gavin Hodnett has 25 points (7G, 18A) in his last 33 games and 38 points (12G, 26A) in his last 46 games.*
- D Jacob Hoffrogge has 13 points (0G, 13A) in his last 22 games.*
- F Rilen Kovacevic has 10 points (5G, 5A) in his last 14 games and 15 points (7G, 8A) in his last 21 games.*
- F Mason Finley has 10 points (5G, 5A) in his last 13 games.*
- F Ty Nash has 4 points (2G, 2A) in his last 6 games.*
- F Marshall Finnie has 5 points (5G, 0A) in his last 5 games.*
- F Aidan Litke has 6 points (2G, 4A) in his last 4 games.
- D Parker Alcos has 4 points (0G, 4A) in his last 4 games.
- F Adam Jecho has 4 points (2G, 2A) in his last 4 games.
*Dating back to last regular season
League Leaders (Last Season)
- F Gavin Hodnett finished 8th in the WHL rookie scoring race (43pts) and was the 4th highest scoring 2006-born player.
- G Kolby Hay finished 2nd in in the WHL in shots faced (1,679) and 2nd in saves made (1,465).
- Edmonton Oil Kings finished 1st in WHL attendance (6,501 avg.)