Filmon doubles up hat-tricks as Broncos beat up Edmonton Oil Kings

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The Swift Current Broncos' Josh Filmon (24) celebrates a goal against the Edmonton Oil Kings at Rogers Place, in Edmonton on Friday Dec.  16, 2022. The Swift Current Broncos’ Josh Filmon (24) celebrates a goal against the Edmonton Oil Kings at Rogers Place, in Edmonton on Friday Dec. 16, 2022. Photo by David Bloom /Postmedia

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They haven’t been able to catch a break lately, but the Edmonton Oil Kings made their final appearance at Rogers Place on Friday prior to the Christmas break.

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And you can bet after having dropped their previous nine straight, a win was the top line on their wish list.

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Unfortunately, they saw their losing streak hit double digits after turning in a proverbial lump of coal in an 8-4 loss to the Swift Current Broncos. It was the first win by the Broncos in their last nine visits to Rogers Place, dating back to the 2018-19 season.

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But this time, Edmonton had their hands full with New Jersey Devils prospect Josh Filmon, whose six goals and seven points on the night paced the Broncos to their third win in three games this season against the Oil Kings.

The visitors took the lead early, just 39 seconds in, with Raphael Pelletier steering a rush into Edmonton’s end and passing it ahead to Matthew Ward, who reached ahead to direct the puck toward Kolby Hay. The Oil Kings goalie made the stop but it took him out of position as a trailing Filmon picked up the rebound.

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Filmon added to Swift Current’s lead on the power play 4:02 in, taking advantage of some traffic in front of Hay’s crease to send a long wrist shot into the top corner.

Making things even more difficult, Marshall Finnie was tossed just six minutes in, receiving five-minute major and a game misconduct for checking to the head with an ill-aimed hit on Clarke Caswell that drew the ire of the Broncos.

That left the Oil Kings with nine forwards the rest of the way.

The Oil Kings didn’t let up in the physicality department, however, as Pelletier was run over by Johnny Szabo, before Anaheim Ducks prospect Connor Hvidston was able to redirect a shot in front of Hay to complete a tic-tac-toe and go ahead 3-0 midway through the first.

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Edmonton got onto the board in the final minute of the frame, with Rilen Kovacevic scoring his second goal since joining the Oil Kings in a trade Nov. 28, sending a rocket of a wrist shot from the top of the circle over the blocker of Rocha to cut Swift Current’s lead to two.

PENALTY DECLINED?

The second period began with Broncos forward Luke Mistelbacher getting denied by the pad of Hay on a breakaway, before taking some frustration out with a high stick on Oil Kings defenseman Graydon Gotaas, resulting in a double minor.

But it was Swift Current cashing in shorthanded, when a miscommunication around Edmonton’s net led to a turnover saw the puck bounce out to, who else? Filmon for an easy tap in to complete the hat trick.

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It was the fifth short-handed goal the Broncos scored on Edmonton in three games this season.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, the Oil Kings power play ended with a penalty shot awarded to Brady Birnie, who crept in a little too slowly and ran out of room before being denied by Hay, who slid a pad in front of the post Office.

But Swift Current would go ahead 5-1 on a giveaway at the Edmonton blue-line, when a Gavin Hodnett pass was intercepted by Pelletier, whose rebound went to none other than Filmon for his fourth of the night, completing the cycle with an even – Strength, power play and short-handed goal.

At that point, with nearly 12 minutes left in the second period, Hay was replaced by Ronin Geraghty, despite having come into the game as the Western Hockey League’s saves leader with 760 on the season.

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But Filmon wasn’t nearly done yet, adding a breakaway goal to his tally on the night by going top shelf on Geraghty, before finding himself all along in the slot to make it a double hat-trick on a one-time feed from behind the net by Hvidston.

PAIR OF FIRST

Szabo couldn’t hide the sigh of relief after scoring his first point of the season, opening the third period with a one-time shot off a pass from Mason Finley.

He was joined by Reid Larson with his first-ever WHL goal on a seeing-eye wrist shot 5:34 into the third period.

Gotaas then became the second Oil Kings player to get ejected from the game after Rylan Gould was laid out with an open-ice hit, sending Swift Current on another five-minute power play.

It led to a slew of penalties by the Oil Kings, who finally relented with a one-timer on the power play by Adam McNutt for the lone Swift Current goal not involving Filmon, who was stopped by Geraghty on one final breakaway to finish one shy of tying the league’s single-game goal record.

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Instead, Mason Finley potted a buzzer beater to cut Swift Current’s lead in half.

TEAM GERMANY

Oil Kings forward Luca Hauf missed his second straight game Friday after joining Team Germany ahead of the 2023 International Ice Hockey Federation world junior championships in Halifax, NS, and Moncton, NB

Competing in his second world junior in a row, Hauf is the lone representative on Edmonton’s current roster in this year’s tournament, which gets underway Monday, Dec. 26, with Team Canada against Czechia.

Next up: The Oil Kings play their final game prior to the Christmas break when they take to the road to face the Calgary Hitmen on Sunday afternoon.

E-mail: [email protected]

On Twitter: @GerryModdejonge

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