Kent, Wash. – Logan Dowhaniuk broke a tie with 4.7 seconds remaining in the third period as the Edmonton Oil Kings defeated the Seattle Thunderbirds 3-2 in Game 4 of the 2022 WHL Championship Series.
The Oil Kings were closing in on winning the Ed Chynoweth Cup with Game 5 scheduled for Saturday in the Alberta capital.
“It was far from our best performance, we struggled through some execution parts of the game,” said Brad Lauer, Edmonton head coach.
“That’s hockey sometimes, but we’ve always found a way to stay in it. We had guys making the right plays at the right time and Logan [Dowhaniuk] scored a big goal for us,” added Lauer.
Seattle batted first at 3:57 in the opening frame. The Calgary Flames’ Lucas Ciona found a rebound in front of Cossa and blasted the puck into Edmonton’s net for his eighth goal of the postseason.
The Thunderbirds limited the Oil Kings to just five shots on target in the opening frame, though Edmonton earned nearly seven minutes of power play time.
Oil Kings forward Josh Williams put the visitors back on track with two marks in the first six minutes of the second period.
First, the Langley, BC product found a loose puck in front of the Seattle net and put a backhand in the cage. He scored his third goal of the 2022 WHL playoffs from the left circle two minutes later to give Edmonton a 2-1 lead.
Again, Seattle’s power play made things happen. Leading scorer Jared Davidson flicked a low shot through traffic and into the Oil Kings net from the left circle at 7:07 in the second period to level the score at 2-2.
It was Davidson’s team-leading 13th goal of the postseason.
Both goalkeepers shrugged late, good chances in the second period. Milic denied Oil Kings import Jakub Demek with a redirect off the net, then New York Rangers’ Cossa Matthew Rempe stopped with a glove save in the dying embers of the second period just after Davidson cranked a puck off the bar.
The 2-2 scoreline stayed the same for most of the third period, with Cossa fending off Seattle forward Jordan Gustafson late on and Milic saving a shot from Oil Kings forward Carson Golder.
With less than ten seconds remaining in regulation time, the puck raced free to Dowhaniuk, who fired a snap that hit the top corner over Milic’s left shoulder with 4.7 seconds left.
Sherwood Park, Alta. Product was the fourth Blueliner from Edmonton, which scored in the series.
“It just struck me, I honestly just shot it. I didn’t really pick a point or anything, I just put it on the net and it went in,” noted Dowhaniuk.
“This is playoff hockey, sometimes you don’t always get what you deserve,” Thunderbirds head coach Matt O’Dette said after the game.
“Of course there were things we could have done better to get to the top. We worked, we came to play, a disappointing end but we did a lot of good things tonight,” added O’Dette.
Cossa turned aside 32 shots for the Oil Kings while Milic stopped 20 shots for the Thunderbirds.
Edmonton finished 0/2 on the power play while Seattle was 2/4.
Game 5 is scheduled for Saturday, June 11 when the series returns to Edmonton (7:00 p.m. MT, Rogers Place, TSN4).
Both teams are undefeated in elimination games: Edmonton have won all three occasions in which they managed to eliminate an opponent, while Seattle is 5-0 from elimination in the 2022 WHL playoffs.