Cochrane's Tyrel Bauer set up the game-winner in the Seattle Thunderbirds' 2-1 win over the Edmonton Oil Kings in the opener of the WHL Championship series.

Connor Roulette tipped a point shot from Bauer at 8:55 of the third to give the T-Birds a 2-0 win. Jordan Gustafson earned the second assist.

It was Roulette’s fourth of the playoffs and his second point of the evening after assisting on Matt Rempe's goal at 1:59 of the second.

“You have to capitalize on those chances this late in the playoffs, and I was able to get the tip-off a great shot from Bausy,” says Roulette.

Oil King Carter Souch scored a powerplay goal at 11:40 of the third to close the gap. From there, it was hanging on time, as Edmonton pulled Cossa for an extra skater for the final two minutes.

T-birds captain Bauer said they know this could be a long series but they’re a confident group.

“We know our defensive ability and Milly back there is a rock.” 

T-Bird goalie Thomas Milic, who earned his seventh road victory of the post-season last night, was the story of a physical opening 20 minutes. He turned aside 21 shots, including two left pad saves off Edmonton captain Jake Neighbours, of Airdrie, at the seven-minute mark.

It marked the first home loss by the Oil Kings in the 2022 WHL playoffs.

The game also featured a matchup between Neighbours and Bauer, who were teammates on the Airdrie Xtreme during the 2015-16 season before taking different roads to becoming elite WHL players. Bauer recently signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Winnipeg Jets, and Neighbours has done the same with the St. Louis Blues back in October 2020.

Game Two goes Sunday at Rogers Place at 4 p.m.