Oilers drop double OT thriller, 3-2 in Drumheller

DRUMHELLER, AB (March 18, 2022) ““ Sam Simard scored 2:34 into the second overtime, as the Drumheller Dragons took Game 1 of their AJHL South Division Semifinal series 3-2 over the visiting Okotoks Oilers on Friday night.

The game saw each team take, and lose, one-goal leads, as well as each team hit the crossbar in the first overtime, before Simard”™s rebound goal ended the game for the home side in front of a near capacity crowd.

Austin Reschny (Macklin, SK) scored from the net front at 5:54 for his first of the postseason to give Okotoks the advantage early in the game, but Drumheller knotted it up on an Adam Raesler rebound goal with 1:31 left in the frame to get the Dragons a tie after 20, despite a 13-10 Okotoks shot advantage that had been as wide as 12-4 in the opening period.

But Drumheller nearly doubled the Oilers in shots in the second, with a 17-9 margin producing only one goal, a Vann Yuhas tip of a point shot at 15:48 to give the home side its first lead.

In the third, the Oilers converted on the power play 3:11 in when Connor Gourley (Calgary, AB) won a battle at the net front and jammed a puck home to tie it 2-2.

In overtime, Drumheller nearly took the game early when True Crowe carried in and fired a shot over the left arm of Okotoks goalie Jack McNaughton (Calgary, AB), but the puck hit the crossbar and ricocheted straight out. The goal light was erroneously turned on, and after consultation, the officials confirmed the correct call on the ice of no goal.

Okotoks was in a similar situation minutes later when a shot by Brendan Boyle (Lake Country, B.C.) went over the shoulder of Drumheller goalie Eric Ward, but it struck the bottom of the crossbar, bounced directly down on the goal line, and barely out of the net to keep it tied.

In the second overtime, Okotoks goalie Parker Sawka (Cochrane, AB) came in in relief, making four significant saves early in the period. But Simard”™s rebound goal found its way through and sent the Dragons streaming off the bench with the early series advantage.

The two teams will meet again on Saturday night in Drumheller for Game 2 at 7:00 PM. Pre-game coverage starts at 6:45 PM on The Eagle 100.9.