OKOTOKS, AB (November 19, 2022) — Okotoks Oilers captain Dean Spak (Calgary, AB) scored a huge late goal but his team ultimately dropped a close 4–2 game against the Canmore Eagles at Okotoks Centennial Arena on Saturday night.
Connor Gourley (Calgary, AB) also scored for Okotoks, which fell to 15–9–3 to begin the 2022–23 AJHL regular season. Oilers goaltender Alex Scheiwiller (Calgary, AB) stopped 25 of 28 shots in his 10th game of the season (4–3–2, .900 save percentage).
Kayden Rawji opened the scoring for Canmore at the 9:16 mark of the first period, banging home a loose puck in the crease after Scheiwiller made an initial stop on a long-range shot by Eagles defenceman Casey Black.
Gourley answered back for the Oilers just over two minutes later. With Eagles forward Reed Jacobson in the penalty box, Gourley took the puck at the top of the left circle and fired a wrister past goaltender Matthew Malin to make it a 1–1 hockey game.
The second period went by without much incident until Oilers defenceman Nick Wolfenberg (Calgary, AB) was called for a check from behind with 1:05 remaining. Wolfenberg was assessed two minor penalties and a game misconduct on the play, sending the Oilers to the penalty kill.
With Ty Yoder (Tofield, AB) in the box serving Wolfenberg’s penalty, Finn McLaughlin scored from the exact same spot as Gourley one period before to put the visiting Eagles up 2–1 heading into the second intermission.
The Oilers pushed hard for an equalizer throughout much of the third period and finally got it from their captain — playing in just his second game since returning from injury — with just 3:10 remaining in regulation time. After Sam Huck (Calgary, AB) made a strong play to put the puck on net, Spak managed to poke it home to make it 2–2.
But things unravelled from there. Just 41 seconds after Spak’s game-tying tally (and as the PA announcer continued to announce the goal), the Eagles flew back the other way and restored their one-goal lead. Having already picked up an assist on the first goal, Black swooped down on a loose puck and slid it past Scheiwiller for his first goal of the season.
The Oilers ended up pulling Scheiwiller in an attempt to tie the game yet again, but Eagles forward Owen Jones sealed the deal with an empty-net goal at the 18:54 mark of the third period. The 4–2 score would hold until the final buzzer despite the Oilers outshooting the Eagles 37–29 through 60 minutes.
After losing back-to-back games this weekend, the Oilers will now shift their sights to their upcoming home dates against the Drayton Valley Thunder and Sherwood Park Crusaders on Nov. 25 and 26.
Recap: Mike Gould
Photo: Chad Goddard