VIDEO & AUDIO: Oilers slip by Saints 3-2 in Showcase opener

BROOKS, AB (September 30, 2021) ““ The Okotoks Oilers (3-2) opened their 2021 AJHL Showcase schedule with a big win on Thursday night, rebounding from an early 1-0 deficit to down the Spruce Grove Saints 3-2, dealing the defending AJHL North champions their first regulation loss of the season.

Okotoks trailed early after Spruce Grove scored on its first power play of the game, when captain Logan Acheson scored on a wrist shot from the right circle just 3:36 into the game.

But less than two minutes later, a Kade Turner (Calgary, AB) point shot went wide, but bounced off the end wall to a waiting Rieger Lorenz (Calgary, AB) at the left side of the net, who one-timed the puck past goalie Maxwell Beckford to tie the game up.

After outshooting the Saints 9-6 in the tied first period, the Oilers exploded for 19 shots in the second, converting twice. First, Conyr Hellyer (Okotoks, AB) sniped a wrist shot from the slot on the power play at 12:11, and then the newest Oiler Carter Massier (Peace River, AB) sniped a wrist shot off a 2-on-1 rush for a 3-1 Okotoks lead at the 16:20 mark.

Spruce Grove drew closer with a Niko Jovanovic rebound goal at 13:08, but it would be as close as they would come as the Oilers held on for the narrow win. Rookie goaltender Austin Zavoda (Hershey, PA) made 28 saves on 30 Spruce Grove shots, as the Oilers outshot their opposition 35-30 in the game.

Okotoks will return to Brooks to cap off their Showcase schedule on Saturday afternoon when they take on the Whitecourt Wolverines at 1:30 PM. The game can be heard live on The Eagle 100.9 with Gino De Paoli.