Calgary, AB (September 28, 2023) — The Okotoks Oilers overcame a brief 2–1 deficit midway through the second period of Thursday’s game against the Lloydminster Bobcats to win by a 10–2 final score in their first game of the 2023 AJHL Showcase.
The Oilers trailed 1–0 and 2–1 in Thursday’s contest before scoring nine unanswered goals to claim their fifth victory in six games to begin the 2022–23 regular season. They outshot the Bobcats by a count of 37–10.
Seven different players scored in the third period to give the Oilers their most lopsided win since December 31, 2021, when they defeated the Calgary Canucks by a 10–0 score at Ken Bracko Arena (which also happened to be the site of Thursday’s game).
The Oilers capped off Day 2 of the AJHL Showcase in memorable fashion, although they didn’t get off to the start they wanted in the first period against Lloydminster. Emmett Nordin opened the scoring midway through the opening frame for the Bobcats, who outshot the Oilers 4–3 in the early goings of the contest.
But after receiving a talking to from head coach Tyler Deis (Calgary, AB) during a TV timeout shortly thereafter, the Oilers found their legs and started to dictate more of the play in the offensive zone. Sam Huck (Calgary, AB) eventually converted from close range off a nice feed from Colton Alexander (Cochrane, AB) to tie it up with less than six minutes to play in the first.
Although the Oilers spent much of the second period on the power play, the Bobcats managed to score the first special-teams goal of the middle frame when Orin Olson beat Oilers goaltender Alex Scheiwiller (Calgary, AB) from distance on a shorthanded rush.
The Bobcats’ 2–1 lead lasted less than two minutes. Soon after Olson’s goal, Huck jammed home his second of the game on a 5-on-3 and Jackson Rowland (Calgary, AB) picked up his first of the year with a blistering one-timer on the ensuing 5-on-4, giving the Oilers a 3–2 lead.
The “home” side never looked back from there, outshooting Lloydminster 27–6 in the final two periods and adding seven more goals in the third. Rowland, Alexander, Dean Spak (Calgary, AB), Brett Huxley (Calgary, AB), Logan Magowan (Calgary, AB), Jack Silverberg (Sherwood Park, AB), and Hunter Sawka (Cochrane, AB) all found the back of the net in the final frame to cap off a dominant win for the Oilers.
In the end, Scheiwiller needed to make just eight saves through the full 60 minutes to seal his second win in as many games this season. The 2005-born goaltender now boasts a .905 save percentage and a 2–0–0 record to begin his sophomore campaign in Okotoks.
It won’t get any easier from here for the Oilers, who are slated to take on the defending Centennial Cup champion Brooks Bandits in their second and final game of the AJHL Showcase on Saturday. Opening puck-drop for that one is scheduled for 5:00 p.m. MT in Calgary.
Recap: Mike Gould
Photo: Chad Goddard