OKOTOKS, AB (November 8, 2022) — With temperatures outside Okotoks Centennial Arena down below minus-20, Okotoks Oilers forward Sam Huck (Calgary, AB) was even colder to the Blackfalds Bulldogs as he helped the home squad rally from 2–0 and 4–2 deficits to win 7–4 on Tuesday night.
Huck scored twice and added an assist against Blackfalds, with his second goal ultimately serving as the game-winner, as the Oilers extended their team point streak to 12 games and improved to 13–5–2 on the season. The Bulldogs fell to 12–7–1 with the loss.
Only someone with ice coursing through their veins could hope to make the play Huck pulled off leading to his first goal of the evening. The 2004-born forward went down on one knee at his own blue line to block a shot before streaking down the ice with the puck, dancing past both Blackfalds defenders, firing a shot off the far goal post, and depositing his own rebound for an unassisted tally.
Huck’s eighth goal of the season made it a 2–2 hockey game midway through the second period. His second goal of the game (and his ninth of the year) came just shy of the eight-minute mark of the final frame to give the Oilers a 5–4 lead.
Breaking down the ice on a two-on-one rush with Connor Gourley (Calgary, AB), Huck elected to call his own number and fired a quick wrister past Blackfalds starting goaltender Charlie Zolin. After Huck’s second goal, the Bulldogs replaced Zolin with Matthew Hennessey for the final 12 minutes of regulation.
The Oilers trailed 2–0 after one period of play and 4–3 after two. Nolan Flint (Beaverlodge, AB) scored early in the second period to make it 2–1; Ty Yoder (Tofield, AB) netted his seventh goal of the season to cut the Bulldogs’ lead back down to one at the 15:35 mark of the second, just 33 ticks after Bill Gourgon made it 4–2.
The third period was all Oilers, as they outshot the Bulldogs 13–3 and outscored them 4–0. Gourley tied the game at four just 2:39 into the final frame, with Huck making it 5–4 at 7:57. Ethan Rowland (Calgary, AB) added his first two goals as an Okotoks Oiler in the final 10 minutes of regulation to provide his new team with some much-needed insurance.
“We put those first two periods to bed and just focused on the third,” Oilers assistant coach Reid Hnatowich told play-by-play commentator Keegan Bartram after the game. “It was cool, with regards to what we can do when we play as a unit.”
The elder Rowland is up to five points (two goals, three assists) in just three games since joining the Oilers in a trade with the BCHL’s Vernon Vipers last week. He expressed his appreciation to his new linemates for helping him score his first AJHL goal.
“That’s all Huxley making a good play to get it through the seam, there, up to me,” Rowland said. “Yoder and Huxley have made it a lot easier adjusting to the league. I have to give the credit to them, there.”
The Oilers will return to action on Friday as they kick off a five-game road trip with a tilt against the Lloydminster Bobcats (8–9–1) at 7:00 p.m. MT.