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Edmonton Journal article (Oil Kings can learn from Memorial Cup experience)

May 27 2012 at 7:49 AM
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N. W. Bruin  (Login NW_Bruin_GM)

Oil Kings can learn from Memorial Cup experience

Goaltender disappointed with both his and the team’s performance, but thinks the team can be stronger because of what they learned this week

By Chris O'Leary,

May 26, 2012

Oil Kings grab their luggage after arriving back in Edmonton May 25, 2012.

Photograph by: Rick MacWilliam ,

EDMONTON - Laurent Brossoit is making baby steps after having a night to process the Edmonton Oil Kings’ elimination from the Memorial Cup.

The Oil Kings goalie isn’t hanging his head over a Canadian junior hockey championship tournament that, for the most part, he’d like to do all over again.

A photo of him hanging his head after allowing the sixth goal in Edmonton’s 6-1 loss to the host Shawinigan Cataractes on Thursday ran prominently on websites and in newspapers across the country on Friday.

While his head was up on Friday afternoon when the Oil Kings arrived in Edmonton, the 19-year-old was still soft-spoken when talking with the media.

“A little bit better,” Brossoit said of his mood, after heaping much of the team’s misfortune at the Memorial Cup on himself Thursday night.

“In the moment, it’s kind of hard to look at the positives because the game overshadowed all of the success that I had all year. I can kind of look back now and realize we were successful and I was a key part to get us here and that’s an honour in its own. I just wish, because it was the most important game of the season, I didn’t end up giving one of my worst performances of the season. It’s not a good feeling.”

Although Brossoit wasn’t able to continue his Western Hockey League playoff MVP-calibre play at the Memorial Cup, the Oil Kings’ quick ouster wasn’t his fault. As head coach Derek Laxdal pointed out during the tournament, only the line of Curtis Lazar, Henrik Samuelsson and Stephane Legault played up to its potential, leaving a lot of what the coach likes to call passengers on the ride through Shawinigan, Que.

The Oil Kings are looking to return 20 of their 25 players next season. Brossoit, being one of them, realizes as the sting of losing gradually dulls, he’ll begin looking forward to getting back to next year’s Memorial Cup in Saskatoon.

“Experience, I think,” Brossoit said of what the team gained this year. “We were such a young squad and experience is so huge. You look at our play (in Shawinigan) and we were a totally different team because we didn’t have the experience, because we didn’t know what we were facing.

“We ended up playing timid and playing a game that we didn’t play at all that led us there. I think moving forward, we’ve got a lot of guys coming back and we’ve got a lot of experience and it’s going to help us next year.”

Brossoit also helped himself picking up a pair of MVP nods en route to the Memorial Cup. The Calgary Flames prospect caught the NHL team’s attention this spring and is in good position to at least get an invite to Canada’s world junior team tryouts.

“I definitely think I got myself on the radar and that’s a good feeling,” Brossoit said. “But, at the same time, a lot of people will remember the last game. I wish I could have ended it off with a better effort, but it is what it is.”

ROYALTY NOTES: Edmonton fans can fete their WHL junior hockey team on Friday, June 1, at city hall. The Oil Kings and the City of Edmonton are tweaking the details of the event, which would take place during the lunch hour. Finalized details are expected in the coming days.

© Copyright (c) The Edmonton Journal

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