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Edmonton Journal article (Lone Silvertip strikes)

November 2 2009 at 6:33 AM
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N. W. Bruin  (Login NW_Bruin_GM)

Lone Silvertip strikes

Tochkin turns aside Oil Kings with pair, including shootout winner; Silvertips 2 Oil Kings 1 (SO)

By Paul Owen, Freelance

November 2, 2009

Oil Kings forward Brett Breitkreuz takes one on the chin from Everett Silvertips' Alex Theriau during Edmonton's 2-1 loss on Sunday.
Photograph by: Ed Kaiser, The Journal, FreelanceOnly one man on the Everett Silvertips could solve Cam Lanigan and the Edmonton Oil Kings Sunday. It was all they needed.

Kellan Tochkin scored his fourth goal of the season for the Silvertips and added the lone goal in the shootout as Everett (9-4-0-0) downed the Oil Kings (7-9-0-3) 2-1 on Sunday afternoon at Rexall Place.

Tochkin opened the scoring 9:29 into the first period, pouncing on a loose rebound in front of the net.

"I just saw it in some feet and decided just to give it a swipe and hope to get lucky," he explained.

But Tochkin proved in the shootout that he could score pretty as well.

As the sixth shooter after the first five failed to score, Tochkin threw a beautiful head-fake on Lanigan before tucking it past his outstretched pad on the far side.

"He came in and a lot of guys when they fake, they just throw the leg up or whatever, but he drops his shoulder, and I thought for sure he was going high blocker. I dropped, and as soon as he opened up, I knew he had me. I reached for it, but by then I knew it was game over," Lanigan admitted.

One deke spoiled a stellar performance from Lanigan, who made 38 saves with regular starter Torrie Jung sick with the flu and watching the game in the locker-room instead of dressed on the end of the bench.

"Our team's facing a lot of adversity here, and (Lanigan) stepped up today and did a great job," said Oil Kings head coach Steve Pleau.

"(Lanigan) had a great game for us, and that's what we need out of him. He's capable of it now, so we have all the confidence in the world in both our goalies," added defence-man Mark Pysyk.

It was another in a series of strong performances this season from the 17-year-old netminder from Calgary. After sporting a 4.60 goals-against average and. 855 save percentage in 20 games last season, Lanigan has rebounded to post a 2.32 goals-against average and. 928 save percentage in seven games this season.

"I did a lot of work this summer, so I have a lot more confidence coming into this year. Whenever I get the opportunity (to play) I'm going to take it," Lanigan said.

"Right from training camp there was just a different feeling. I faced a little bit of adversity with our 16-year-old (Laurent) Brossoit coming in and fighting for a spot, so that gave me a little bit of confidence winning that battle."

Michael St. Croix scored the lone goal for the Oil Kings, the second of his rookie season. The fourth overall pick in the 2008 bantam draft tipped a shot from Pysyk past Everett goaltender Kent Simpson, who made 37 saves to get the win.

The Oil Kings power play struggled once again, going 0-4 to drop to 10.1 per cent on the season, last in the WHL.

"We've got to limit our frustration at times. When your power play's not going well, you're squeezing your sticks, and even if there are plays to be made, you're not making them: you're turning the puck over or you shots are getting blocked," Pleau said.

© Copyright (c) The Edmonton Journal

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