Oilers slip away from Sharks


EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) – The Edmonton Oilers are in the Western Conference finals for the first time in 14 years.

Michael Peca and Shawn Horcoff scored, and Dwayne Roloson made 24 saves in the biggest game of his career as the eighth-seeded Oilers held off the San Jose Sharks 2-0 in Game 6 of the quarterfinal series.

After dropping the first two games in San Jose, Edmonton stormed back with four straight victories. It is the first time the Oilers rallied from an 0-2 deficit to win a series.

They’ll face the sixth-seeded Anaheim Mighty Ducks, who will host Game 1 on Friday. The winner of the best-of-seven series will take on the Eastern champion – Buffalo or Carolina – in the Stanley Cup finals.

The Oilers just squeaked into the playoffs but are peaking at the right time. They upset the No. 1 seed Detroit and then took out San Jose, the top team left in the wild West, to reach the NHL’s final four for the first time since 1992.

Iceman for Hurricanes sticks close to the job

RALEIGH, N.C. – The “Iceman” walks out to his blue and gray motor home parked in the loading area of the RBC Center and starts looking around. Nothing. He whistles and waits a few minutes before finding what he’s looking for. Three stray cats slink out from their hiding places and head toward the man and the several handfuls of cat food he has tossed behind a front wheel.

The cats are welcome company for the single guy who lives 200 feet from his workplace and spends his days and nights tending the ice inside the RBC Center.

“It gets boring sometimes,” said RBC Center building superintendent Donnie MacMillan. “It’s my choice, but it does get lonely, you know. How many episodes of Law & Order’ can you watch?”

But MacMillan, one of two men who drives the ice-resurfacing machine – it’s an Olympia, but everyone calls it a Zamboni – at Hurricanes games, embraces the life because he’s working the ice. It’s what he has been doing at rinks in Connecticut and North Carolina for 24 years. He has been living in his motor home for nine years, since the NHL’s Hartford Whalers moved.

, first to Greensboro and then to Raleigh.