Holloway’s hat-trick leads Oilers to pre-season defeat over Canucks

It looks like you could add Dylan Holloway’s name in indelible ink to the Edmonton Oilers season starting roster.

Holloway had three goals and an assist and Zach Hyman had a goal and two assists as the Oilers got away with a 7-2 NHL pre-season win over the Vancouver Canucks on Monday.

“It was kind of those nights where everything seems to be going well,” said Holloway, the recently 21-year-old rookie who made his official NHL debut in Game 4 of last year’s Western Conference Finals against Colorado.

“I saw I was playing with Leon (Draisaitl) and Zach (Hyman), so of course I was pretty excited. And my adrenaline went there from the start. So yeah, super excited all day and just felt good.”

Hyman was quite impressed with Holloway’s performance.

“Look at our attackers – they’re so deep and it’s hard to make this team. He’s doing everything he can to make sure the coaches don’t say no,” Hyman said.

“I can’t say enough good things about him. It’s only one game here, but he’s done it in previous games and he has to do it over and over again. He’s doing a great job.”

Warren Foegele had a couple of late goals and Tyson Barrie also scored for the Oilers (4-2 in prep) who dressed close to their full regular season lineup.

Nils Hoglander and Conor Garland answered for the Canucks, who had few familiar faces in the game. Vancouver has not yet had any success in the preseason and drops to 0-3-2.

“For me, it wasn’t a 7-2 type game,” said Vancouver head coach Bruce Boudreau. “With five minutes to go it was 4-2 and we had just knocked out a five-on-three and were about to pull the keeper when they scored. The wind just dropped from everyone’s sails and they stopped for a few minutes. “

Holloway continued to make a rock-solid case to stand on the Oilers opening night with the first goal of the game midway through the opening frame. He made the most of a top six appearance by tapping home a long shot from Darnell Nurse past Vancouver goalkeeper Collin Delia.

Vancouver even pulled just 4:22 into the second period on their fifth power play when Hoglander finally got one past Oilers netless Jack Campbell and beat him with a wrist shot.

Edmonton re-took the lead 12 minutes into the middle period after a power play of its own when Connor McDavid sent a puck forward and Hyman was able to drive it home.

Just 26 seconds later, it was 3-1 to the Oilers as Holloway waited for a sliding defender and then neatly beat Delia for his second of the game.

Vancouver reacted less than a minute later when Garland was credited with a goal that changed direction a few times before hitting defender Cody Ceci and slipping through Campbell’s legs.

Edmonton restored their lead to two goals when Hyman showed some patience by feeding a pinching Barrie for a goal with just over a minute left in the second.

Holloway completed his hat-trick goal with 2:41 left in the third as he looped behind the net before blasting it past Delia for his fourth of the pre-season.

Foegele scored 46 seconds later on a two-to-one and got another less than a minute later on a give-and-go with Devin Shore. The two teams will face each other again on Wednesday in a match to be played in Abbotsford, BC

Both teams will complete their exhibition schedules on the home ice on Friday, while the Oilers host the Seattle Kraken and the Canucks face the Arizona Coyotes.

COMMENTS: It was the first full start for goalkeeper Campbell in an Oilers uniform, having saved seven of eight half-game shots in his only previous appearance against Calgary. The former Toronto Maple Leaf starter flew to Edmonton as a free agency this summer, signing a $25 million five-year deal after setting a 31-9-6 record with the Leafs last season. …Earlier on Monday, the Canucks sent six players to their AHL branch in Abbotsford — Vincent Arseneau, Marc Gatcomb, Chase Wouters, Matt Alfaro, Michael Regush and Jett Woo — leaving their current roster for the season at 42 players.

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