Second sinks Oilers in Spruce Grove

SPRUCE GROVE, AB (October 20, 2023) — Despite a dominant first period start, the Okotoks Oilers fell behind late in the first period in Spruce Grove on Friday night, then allowing 4 goals in the second en route to a 6-2 defeat at the hands of the host Saints.

The Oilers nonetheless outshot their opponents 37-30 in the game, falling to 8th place in the AJHL with a 7-5-1 record.

Spruce Grove’s opening goal came after a flurry of first period chances for the Oilers that the team couldn’t quite finish; a third-chance opportunity for Spruce Grove’s Trey Fechko after two big saves by Alex Scheiwiller (Calgary, AB) gave them their first lead with less than 1 second on the first period clock.

The Saints then took control early in the second, with net-front one-timer goals by Carter Oakenfold at 1:25 and Evan Sundar at 3:53 giving them a 3-0 lead, before Keifer Miller deposited a loose puck from the side of the net into an open Okotoks cage at 17:42. Then with less than a minute left in the period, a Ryder Matter shot from the right circle bounced off an Oiler defender’s skate and into the net to make it 5-0.

Christian Green (Boothwyn, PA) came in in relief in the third, and the Oilers broke through with goals from Jackson Rowland (Calgary, AB) on a net front scramble and Shayne Tibbles (Calgary, AB) on a power play tip of a Sam Hall (Oldwick, NJ) play from the blue line. The Oilers pulled the goalie with four minutes left and nearly scored on a Jagger Tapper rebound shot that was stopped by the pad of goalie Beckett Langkow, and soon after Matter sealed the game with an empty netter to make it 6-2.

The Oilers will complete their weekend road trip in Sherwood Park on Saturday night, taking on the Crusaders at 7 PM.