Jaxsen Wiebe couldn’t have asked for a better time to score his first hat trick for the Edmonton Oil Kings.
The 20-year-old Moose Jaw Minor Hockey product scored three times -- including the overtime winner -- as the Oil Kings picked up a 4-3 victory over the host Saint John Sea Dogs at the Memorial Cup on Wednesday night.
The win snapped a 14-game losing streak for the Western Hockey League at the tournament, dating back to the 2015 event when the Kelowna Rockets lost in the final to the Oshawa Generals.
“He’s a big part of our team,” Edmonton head coach Brad Lauer said of Wiebe’s performance on CHL.ca. “He plays a heavy game, he works hard, he does the right things and today he was rewarded.”
Wiebe opened scoring 2:14 into the game when Luke Prokop’s power play point shot redirected off two players to the front of the net, where Wiebe outduelled a defender and stuffed the puck under Saint John’s Nicholas Hurtubise.
His second goal came from almost the same position as the first. Carter Souch nearly scored on a beautiful solo effort while breaking into the Sea Dogs zone but rang his shot off the iron. Wiebe was in the proper position to get a quick backhand off on the rebound, tying the game 3-3.
That set the stage for the three-on-three overtime, and Wiebe’s game-winner.
It started out innocently enough as Wiebe broke down the right wing from his own zone, but his shot from the face-off circle would beat Hurtubise glove side, giving Edmonton the crucial win.
“There’s lots of skating in overtime, I thought ‘might as well get my own little skate in there’. I skated down the wing, pulled the trigger, and fortunately it went in,” Wiebe said. “I think the fans got their money’s worth tonight, it was an exciting game to be in for sure,”
The win was also critical for Edmonton’s Memorial Cup title hopes -- after losing their opener 4-3 to the QMJHL champion Shawinigan Cataractes, the victory keeps the Oil Kings in the hunt for the tournament’s top three and a spot in the playoffs.
“I’m proud of our group,” Wiebe said. “Usually after a loss we’ll come back, bounce back, come back better, and we did that tonight.”
Moose Jaw product Ethan Peters is also in action with Edmonton and has a 0 plus/minus and two penalty minutes in the first two games.
Edmonton closes out the round robin on Friday against the OHL champion Hamilton Bulldogs, with the tiebreaker set for Sunday if necessary, semifinal on Monday and championship final on Tuesday.
Here’s a look at all the goals and highlights from Edmonton’s win Wednesday night.
📽️ #MemorialCup Highlights - June 22, 2022— The WHL (@TheWHL) June 23, 2022
🏒 @EdmOilKings (4) vs. @SJSeaDogs (3) - OT
Jaxsen Wiebe fills his hat as Edmonton earns its first win at the 2022 Memorial Cup presented by @KiaCanada.
STATS 📰 | https://t.co/j7nl4St5Oh pic.twitter.com/hEHvMf7JlN