Oilers press late but fall 4-2 in Camrose in opener
CAMROSE, AB (September 16, 2022) – Trailing 3-0 entering the third period, the Okotoks Oilers (0-1) got goals from Hunter Sawka (Calgary, AB) and captain Dean Spak (Calgary, AB) to provide a dramatic finish, but dropped their season opening game 4-2 in Camrose on Friday night.
Okotoks outshot the home side Kodiaks 31-29 in the game, despite being on six penalty kills including a five minute major.
The first saw only one goal, a Carson Whyte wrister off the rush on the power play at the 8:20 mark that gave the Kodiaks the early advantage. It was compounded in the second on two similar goals from Myles Gauld; both wrist shots from the left circle off the rush, at the 16:02 and 18:57 marks.
In the third, the Oilers began to turn the tide, but the momentum came to a crashing halt when Sam Moshurchak (Calgary, AB) was called for a major penalty for a blow to the head on a shoulder hit at the boards. Moshurchak was then tackled to the ice by a Kodiak player, and the Oiler defenceman was assessed an additional two minutes for roughing.
But the Oilers killed off the ensuing penalty kill, and then finally broke through on Camrose goalie Robert Andreakos at 12:32 when a Jagger Tapper (Calgary, AB) point shot was tipped in by Hunter Sawka for his first Junior A goal. Again, the Oilers looked to be on their heels when a goalie interference penalty put them down a man late, but Spak took a diving feed from Nolan Flint (Beaverlodge, AB) at the neutral zone, blew by a Kodiak defender, and scored on a shorthanded rush to make it a one-goal game with 1:40 left.
But the Kodiaks held on, tallying an empty netter with 17 seconds left to notch the 4-2 final score.
The teams will reconvene for a rematch on Saturday night at 7:00 PM. Pre-game coverage starts at 6:45 PM on The Eagle 100.9.