OKOTOKS, AB (October 9, 2023) — Alex Scheiwiller (Calgary, AB) made 20 saves — including a couple of showstoppers — to help propel the Okotoks Oilers to a 5–2 victory over the visiting Grande Prairie storm at Okotoks Centennial Arena on Thanksgiving Monday.
Five different members of the Oilers scored in the matinee affair, with defenceman Ethan O’Halloran (Calgary, AB) netting the eventual winner on a power play midway through the second period. O’Halloran added an assist in the third period and was named the game’s third star.
Scheiwiller received top billing in the three stars after most notably shutting the door on top Storm forwards Tomis Marinkovic and Zachary Wilson at key points in the game. It appeared Wilson had scored off a Scheiwiller miscue early in the second period to tie the game up at 1–1, but replays showed that the Oilers goaltender managed to keep the puck out of his net by sprawling across the crease and swatting it away with his paddle. Upon conferring with the goal judge, the officials reversed their original call and took the goal off the board.
Later on, after Wilson scored to make it 3–1, Scheiwiller made a highlight-reel windmill glove save to deny Marinkovic of a sure goal on a 2-on-1 rush. Marinkovic, who joined the Storm last week on a transfer from the WHL’s Calgary Hitmen, could only look to the sky after Scheiwiller stopped what would have been his first AJHL goal.
The Oilers opened the scoring just 3:42 into Monday’s game when Jack Silverberg (Sherwood Park, AB) one-timed a pin-point pass from defenceman Brody Maguire (Calgary, AB) past Storm starter Benoit Forget. Hunter Sawka (Cochrane, AB) picked up his team-leading 10th assist of the year on the play.
Jackson Rowland (Calgary, AB) doubled the Oilers’ lead early in the second with a wicked wrister from distance that sailed over Forget’s right shoulder. In the back half of the frame, O’Halloran sniped his second goal of the year off a faceoff win in the offensive zone to make it a 3–0 game.
The teams traded goals in the third period, with Wilson getting it started at the 5:02 mark with a tap-in off a quick feed from Marinkovic. Jagger Tapper (Calgary, AB) responded with a power-play goal less than five minutes later to restore the Oilers’ three-goal advantage.
Both teams added another goal in the final minute of regulation. Just 17 seconds after Peter Copetti scored shorthanded to make it 4–2, Connor Gourley (Calgary, AB) gave the Oilers their third three-goal lead of the game with a prototypical “garbage goal” from the crease. His fourth goal of the year was also the Oilers’ third power-play goal of the game (they went 3-for-7).
O’Halloran, Gourley, Rowland, and Tapper all put up multiple points in the game, which saw the Oilers snap a three-game losing streak and improve to 6–3–1 to begin the 2023–24 season. They’ll return to action at 7:00 p.m. on Friday night when they take on the Whitecourt Wolverines at Okotoks Centennial Arena.
Recap: Mike Gould
Photo: Logan Coutts