Alex Scheiwiller leads Oilers to 4-2 win over Calgary in first AJHL game

Sep 27, 2022 - AJHL Regular season game between Okotoks Oilers and the Calgary Canucks at Max Bell Centre in Calgary, AB. (Photo by Chad Goddard)

Calgary, AB (September 27, 2022) — Backstopped by 2005-born goaltender Alex Scheiwiller (Calgary, AB), the Okotoks Oilers cruised to a 4-2 victory over the Calgary Canucks at Max Bell Centre on Tuesday evening.

With regular starter Parker Sawka (Cochrane, AB) not in the lineup, Scheiwiller stopped 23 of the 25 shots he faced — including all 10 in the first period — to lead the Oilers to the win. The 6’1″ netminder was key to the Oilers escaping the first period still tied after being outshot 10-5.

Oilers forward Connor Gourley (Calgary, AB) had an excellent game in his hometown, scoring a pair of goals and looking dangerous all night.

Gourley’s first goal gave the Oilers a 1-0 lead on a Pete the Plumber power play early in the second period. The 2004-born forward carried the puck down the right into the offensive zone, drove toward the far post, and tucked a low shot past Canucks goaltender Connor Martin for his second goal of the season.

The Oilers entered Tuesday’s game having gone a combined 0-for-14 on the power play in their previous two outings, and they started 0-for-1 against the Canucks before Gourley opened the scoring.

Justin Barker responded just over three minutes later to tie the game, but Brody Spencer-Ha (Foothills County, AB) struck right back just shy of the halfway mark of the middle frame to restore the Oilers’ one-goal cushion. The second-year Oiler deflected a long shot by Kade Turner (Calgary, AB) past Martin to make it 2-1 at the 8:53 mark of the second period.

Gourley struck again in the dying minutes of the second to make it 3-1, which remained the score into the third period. The goal came off a bizarre sequence where Martin started to skate to the Canucks’ bench in anticipation of the Oilers taking a penalty (which was never called) before watching as a Gourley pass deflected off a Calgary defender and into the net.

Canucks defenceman Quintin Unreiner beat Scheiwiller on a breakaway in the early goings of the third period, but Nick Wolfenberg (Calgary, AB) responded with a bomb of a shot on a power play just over three minutes later to make it 4-2.

The Oilers ended up going 2-for-11 on the power play during Tuesday’s contest in Calgary. They were also a perfect 7-for-7 on the PK. Scheiwiller was a rock in the Okotoks crease with his team down a man and his .920 save percentage surpassed even his strong pre-season results (.916 save percentage in three appearances).

It remains to be seen whether Scheiwiller will get the start again when the Oilers return to action on Friday afternoon to take on the Bonnyville Pontiacs at the 2022 AJHL Showcase in Blackfalds.

Photo Credit: Chad Goddard Photography
Recap by: Mike Gould