Video: De Nys soars in first AJHL game, Oilers take 8–3 win over Olds

OKOTOKS, AB (October 10, 2022) — Even with alternate captain Nick Wolfenberg (Calgary, AB) out of the lineup for the first time this season, the Okotoks Oilers cruised to an 8–3 victory over the visiting Olds Grizzlies at Okotoks Centennial Arena on Thanksgiving Monday.

Affiliate defenceman Ryder De Nys (Canmore, AB) had a fantastic AJHL debut, scoring his first two goals as an Oiler and adding an assist on the opening goal in the first period. Another Oilers affiliate, 2006-born forward Gavin Garland (Calgary, AB), tipped home De Nys’ long-range drive just 5:38 into the game for his own first AJHL goal.

The Oilers won Monday’s game despite missing Wolfenberg, Sam Moshurchak (Calgary, AB), Ty Yoder (Tofield, AB), Connor Gourley (Calgary, AB), Jagger Tapper (Calgary, AB), and team captain Dean Spak (Calgary, AB).

Wearing the “C” in Spak’s absence, Conyr Hellyer (Okotoks, AB) continued his excellent start to the season with a pair of goals — including, finally, a power-play marker late in the third period. The future Arizona State Sun Devil now has seven goals and 10 points in eight games this season.

The Oilers went 1-for-8 with the man advantage on Thanksgiving Monday, only scoring on their final opportunity of the game. On the flip side, the home squad went a perfect 6-for-6 on the penalty kill. Austin Reschny (Macklin, SK) and David Clarke both received major penalties and game misconducts for a fight early in the third period.

Rookie goaltender Alex Scheiwiller (Calgary, AB) picked up his second AJHL victory in his third start, stopping 21 of the 24 Olds shots he faced. At the other end, the Oilers beat Grizzlies netminder Noah Nelson eight times on 38 shots.

Both of De Nys’ goals came on unusual shots. He scored his first off an odd-man rush where he picked up a rebound with a wide-open net and fanned on the puck, but it still trickled across the goal line after bouncing off a sprawling Olds defender.

De Nys’ second goal was almost indescribable. After intercepting an Olds clearing attempt, De Nys moved laterally past a pair of defenders before lobbing a slow-pitch shot that completely fooled Nelson and fluttered into the net.

De Nys and Garland were respectively named the first and second stars of their first AJHL contest. Second-year forward Ryan Neumann (Calgary, AB) was named the third star after his first AJHL two-goal game. Sam Huck (Calgary, AB) also scored for the Oilers in the victory, sliding a perfect low wrister past Nelson on a shorthanded breakaway; Logan Neilson, Cade Moxham, and Josh Karman tallied for Olds.

The Oilers (5–5) will return to action at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 13 to play host to the Grande Prairie Storm (2–5–2) at Okotoks Centennial Arena.

Photo Credit: Logan Coutts
Recap by: Mike Gould