THE Edmonton Oil Kings are one win away from a berth in the WHL final and there may not be much the Winnipeg Ice can do about it.
Edmonton put on its second dominant performance in as many home games Wednesday night, subduing the Ice 4-2 to take a 3-1 series lead in the Eastern Conference final before 4,103 fans at Rogers Place.
The Oil Kings held a substantial edge in play but Ice goaltender Gage Alexander did well to keep his club within striking range.
Carter Souch scored his sixth and seventh goals of the playoffs in the first period to get the hosts off to a quick start.
Owen Pederson replied with a first-period goal on the power play to draw the visitors to within one goal after 20 minutes.
The Oil Kings can wrap up the best-of-seven series Friday night when they host Game 5. Game time is 8 p.m.
Pederson was returning to the lineup following a one-game suspension for high-sticking Edmonton blue-liner Luke Prokop in Game 2.
Alexander, making his third consecutive start in the Winnipeg net, made 32 saves. Oil Kings goaltender Sebastian Cossa finished with 20 stops.
Alexander denied Josh Williams on a breakaway midway through the second frame but Edmonton centre Justin Sourdif quickly made up for that missed opportunity, intercepting the Ice goaltenders clearing attempt and rifling his fourth of the post-season into the net.
Pederson had his second goal of the night and ninth of the post-season late in the middle period to narrow the Oil Kings lead to 3-2. Edmonton sniper Dylan Guenther iced the game in the third period with his 13th of the playoffs.
The Ice played without centre Matt Savoie for the second consecutive game.
Savoie, who led the club in scoring during the regular season, was sidelined with an upper-body injury in Game 2 on a crushing hit from Sourdif.
Games 6 and 7 in the series, if necessary, would be played Sunday and Tuesday at Wayne Fleming Arena.
BLUE-LINES: Edmonton centre Jaxsen Wiebe served the final game of a two-game suspension, his punishment for a check-to-the-head major and game misconduct in Game 2… The Oil Kings were 1-for-4 with a man advantage. Winnipeg also went 1-for-4… Three stars: 1. Josh Williams, Edmonton (three assists, three shots); 2. Carter Souch, Edmonton (two goals, four shots); 3. Owen Pederson, Winnipeg (two goals).