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Oil Kings-Foreurs Meet in Semi-Final

Friday, 05.23.2014 / 1:24 PM
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2014 Memorial Cup
Oil Kings-Foreurs Meet in Semi-Final
Click here for a gallery from the Oil Kings-Foreurs first meeting.

In a battle pitting East vs. West, two league champions are putting their seasons on the line Friday, as Griffin Reinhart and the Edmonton Oil Kings get set to face off against the Val d’Or Foreurs in the Memorial Cup semi-final at 7 p.m.

The winner of the single-elimination contest advances to play the Guelph Storm for the 2014 Mastercard Memorial Cup on Sunday afternoon, while the loser leaves London, Ontario empty handed.

"At this point in the playoffs and into the Memorial Cup, most guys have been in situations like that and played in the big games," Reinhart told OilKings.ca. "They expect a lot of pressure and I think they're handling it pretty well and will know how to play."

Reinhart and Oil Kings get a chance to avenge Tuesday’s heartbreaking double-overtime loss to the Foreurs. The Oil Kings held a 2-0 and 3-2 lead in the game, before allowing the tying goal in the third period.

Reinhart has an assist through three games at the Memorial Cup, along with an even rating and four penalty minutes. Reinhart will be tasked with shutting down electrifying QMJHL scoring leader Anthony Mantha. In their last outing, Reinhart limited the CHL player of the year nominee to one assist.

"They've got a lot of talent and a lot of skill up front,” Reinhart told his team’s website. “Their back-end is good. We've got to keep them to the outside."

"It's the character we have in the room. We never give up and we trust each other. Everyone has faith in one another. We play well and do it for each other."Griffin Reinhart

This is the Oil Kings biggest game since a dramatic game seven win over the Portland Winterhawks to claim the WHL championship and qualify for the Memorial Cup. Reinhart and the 2012 incarnation of the Oil Kings also took the WHL championship in a deciding seventh game.

“We've responded well and done well in games that have been like a Game 7 situation,” Reinhart said.

Reinhart is appearing in his first Memorial Cup semi-final, as the Oil Kings were eliminated in the tiebreaker of the 2012 tournament. This year, the Oil Kings bypassed the tiebreaker, as London was eliminated after going 0-3 in preliminary play.

"It's the character we have in the room,” Reinhart said. “We never give up and we trust each other. Everyone has faith in one another. We play well and do it for each other."

For the Islanders top pick in 2012 and the entire Oil Kings team, making the semi-final round is not enough.

It’s Memorial Cup or bust.

SCHEDULE

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 61 40 16 5 167 135 85
2 NYR 60 38 16 6 190 148 82
3 NYI 62 40 20 2 200 173 82
4 TBL 62 37 19 6 203 167 80
5 DET 60 34 15 11 176 156 79
6 PIT 61 35 17 9 176 152 79
7 WSH 62 33 19 10 184 156 76
8 BOS 60 29 22 9 158 158 67
9 FLA 61 26 22 13 145 172 65
10 PHI 62 26 25 11 164 181 63
11 OTT 59 26 23 10 167 161 62
12 NJD 61 25 27 9 137 161 59
13 CBJ 60 26 30 4 157 189 56
14 TOR 61 25 31 5 170 185 55
15 CAR 59 22 30 7 134 159 51
16 BUF 62 19 38 5 120 207 43

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 62 29 34 4 63
K. Okposo 46 14 30 -2 44
R. Strome 62 13 26 21 39
B. Nelson 62 17 19 6 36
F. Nielsen 62 11 25 11 36
A. Lee 56 20 12 12 32
J. Bailey 50 12 19 10 31
J. Boychuk 52 7 22 15 29
N. Leddy 62 8 17 14 25
T. Hamonic 52 4 19 16 23
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 32 13 0 .910 2.49
C. Johnson 8 7 1 .890 2.95

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