Silverberg, Sawka cue comeback in Oilers’ 7-6 slugfest win in Lloydminster

LLOYDMINSTER, SK (November 12, 2023) — Hunter Sawka (Cochrane, AB) scored with 55 seconds left to break a 6-6 deadlock, after two straight goals by Jack Silverberg (Sherwood Park, AB) erased a 6-4 third period deficit, as the Okotoks Oilers came back to sneak by the host Lloydminster Bobcats 7-6 on Sunday afternoon.

It ended the Oilers’ two-game losing streak and put the team one point back of the Calgary Canucks for fifth place in the AJHL with the two teams set to take each other on Tuesday night in Okotoks.

Kade Duell (Taber, AB) opened the scoring on a rebound goal 4:05 into the first, before Caden Cabana scored on a rebound at 13:03 to cap off the scoring of a relatively tame first period, before the teams combined for a whopping seven goals in the second.

The back and forth period began with an Ishan Mittoo goal from the net front 55 seconds in, to which Ethan O’Halloran responded with his fourth power play goal of the season, one-timing home a behind-the-back pass from Jagger Tapper (Calgary, AB) behind the net to make it 2-2.

Ryan Redekopp then scored off the rush at 8:37 to reclaim the Bobcats’ lead, but Rylan Brown (Sherwood, Park, AB) replied at 13:05, tying it on a net front scramble.

Lloydminster then scored twice in 13 seconds of playing time; the first a Caden Cabana one-timer off a setup from the corner by Lucas Magowan, then a Brody Juck power play point shot goal to take a 5-3 lead.

But before the period was out, Kade Turner (Calgary, AB) scored his first of the season, a power play marker from the side of the net on a perfect diagonal backdoor feed by Sam Huck (Calgary, AB) to keep the Oilers within one.

A goal by Blake Setter on the power play at 3:56 of the third could have been the dagger, but Silverberg got the Oilers back within one on a power play rebound goal of his own at 5:46. Then, at 8:10, Silverberg took a setup from Sawka and sniped the tying goal from the left faceoff circle to make it 6-6.

Overtime seemed inevitable until Brett Huxley (Calgary, AB) tucked a puck down the dasher to the end wall, where Huck chased it down, swept it in front to Sawka, and the eventual one-timer beat goaltender Sebastian Resar to give Okotoks the 7-6 win.