Okotoks, AB (October 16, 2022) — Brett Huxley (Calgary, AB) scored a late game-tying goal and Conyr Hellyer (Okotoks, AB) continued his white-hot start, but the Okotoks Oilers ultimately suffered a 3–2 shootout loss at the hands of the Canmore Eagles on Sunday afternoon.
In front of an announced crowd of 757 at Okotoks Centennial Arena, the Oilers battled back from 1–0 and 2–1 deficits to earn a point and force extra time in the game. The Oilers outshot the visiting Eagles by a 38–26 count through 65 minutes of action.
Mason Bueckert opened the scoring for Canmore at the 9:19 mark of the first period with a perfectly-placed wrist shot from the low slot. Playing his second game in as many days, Parker Sawka (Cochrane, AB) did his best but could only watch as Bueckert put the Eagles up by one.
No matter: Hellyer tied the game with his team-leading 10th goal of the season just over three minutes later. With the Oilers on a Pete the Plumber power play, Huxley wound up at the left circle and unloaded a slap shot that ricocheted off both an Eagle shin pad and Hellyer’s right skate before sliding past goaltender Andreai Proctor-Ramirez.
Hellyer now has twice as many goals as any other Oiler and sits third in the AJHL goal-scoring race, only behind Sherwood Park’s Evan Arnold (12) and Brooks’ Aiden Fink (11). But Hellyer has only appeared in 11 games, compared to 12 for Arnold and 13 for Fink.
The 1–1 score held up into the first intermission and until the 8:22 mark of the second period, when Vincent Scott fired a wrister from the right circle that appeared to catch Sawka off guard before flying into the top corner. Kayden Smith and Brody Tallman assisted on Scott’s sixth goal of the season.
From there, the Oilers went all-out in pursuit of an equalizer. The home side outshot the Eagles 14–7 in the third period and finally managed to draw even with just 1:26 to go in regulation time thanks to a nifty wraparound tally by Huxley. Naturally, Hellyer picked up the primary assist on the goal — Sam Huck (Calgary, AB) notched the secondary.
After a back-and-forth overtime period, the Oilers and Eagles headed to a shootout to decide the game. Huxley, Huck, and Hunter Sawka (Cochrane, AB) were unable to solve Proctor-Ramirez, while Scott just managed to tuck the puck past the elder Sawka in the second round to secure victory for Canmore.
The Oilers’ three-game winning streak has come to an end, but the club picked up an all-important point in the loss. Now 7–5–1, the Oilers will return to action against the very same Eagles (6–5–2) at Okotoks Centennial Arena on Oct. 21 at 7:00 p.m. MT.
Recap: Mike Gould