Okotoks, AB (October 25, 2022) — Powered by a 22-save performance by Parker Sawka (Cochrane, AB) and two points from Nolan Flint (Beaverlodge, AB), the Okotoks Oilers rallied for a 3–1 victory over the Fort McMurray Oil Barons on Tuesday evening.
Sawka held the fort for much of the first two periods as the team in front of him struggled to generate shots on Oil Barons goaltender Andrew Ness, who entered Tuesday’s action with a sparkling .953 save percentage in his first six games of the season.
Olivier Lamothe opened the scoring for Fort McMurray just 6:38 into the first period, capping off a picture-perfect Oil Barons passing play with a back door tap-in past Sawka. Ryder Matter and Jett McCullum picked up the helpers on the highlight-reel goal for the visitors.
The Oilers trailed 1–0 for nearly 30 full minutes before Jagger Tapper (Calgary, AB) evened the score with a long-range bullet past Ness. Flint and Austin Reschny (Macklin, SK) picked up the helpers on Tapper’s second goal of the season, which came at the 15:31 mark of the second period.
As Sawka remained sharp between the pipes, stopping all 15 shots he faced over the second and third periods while being named the Okotoks Honda Hardest Working Oiler, the Oilers opened the final frame with a pair of quick goals.
Flint beat Ness for his fourth goal of the season after skating onto the rebound of a deceptive Reschny shot to put the Oilers up 2–1 just 3:48 into the third period. Reschny picked up the lone helper on the eventual game-winning goal for the home side.
Just over three minutes later, Ty Yoder (Tofield, AB) slung a power-play goal from the right circle past Ness with one of his trademark “Tofield toe-drags” to make it a 3–1 game. The Oilers held the Oil Barons to just six shots in the third period while firing 14 of their own.
Sawka, Flint, and Reschny were named the Carstar Okotoks Three Stars of the game in recognition of their contributions on Tuesday. The Oilers’ starting goaltender improved to 7–4–1 on the season to go along with a .907 save percentage.
With the win, the Oilers (9–5–2) added two more points to their total as they continue to chase Blackfalds, Camrose, and Brooks in the AJHL South Division standings. The Oil Barons (7–6–1) remain four points back of the Whitecourt Wolverines for fourth place in the North.
The Oilers will return to action on Saturday evening when they welcome the Lloydminster Bobcats (5–7–1) to Okotoks Centennial Arena. Opening puck-drop for that game is slated for 7:00 p.m. MT.