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Video: Neumann scores two but Oilers come up just short in Brooks, 6-4

Matt Vossepoel

BROOKS, AB (January 15, 2023) — Ryan Neumann (Calgary, AB) scored two goals and an assist, but the Okotoks Oilers couldn’t battle back from an early deficit, falling 6-4 wih an empty netter to the host Brooks Bandits on Saturday night.

The Oilers outshot Brooks 44-31 in the game, but came up against a solid 40-save performance from Brooks goalie Ethan Barwick. Brooks was also keyed by a 2-for-4 power play performance, which included a key five-minute power play in the second period after Oiler affiliate forward Brett Wilson was ejected from the game for a hard check on Brooks’ Dominick Campione on the boards.

Brooks’ opening goal came on their first power play when Hughie Hooker one-timed a puck home from the low slot just over four minutes in. Ethan Beyer doubled the lead at the 13:03 mark, firing home a low wrister from the right circle off the rush. Neumann’s first came in the dying minutes of that opening period, as he banked a puck from the end wall off a fallen Barwick and into the net to cut the deficit in half. Despite having no shots for nearly five minutes to start the game, the Oilers would end up outshooting Brooks 15-10 in the period.

Brooks reclaimed a two-goal advantage just 71 seconds into the second when captain Dario Beljo took a puck at the Oiler blue line, sped by several defenders, and tucked a breakaway backhander over Parker Sawka (Cochrane, AB) to make it 3-1. The lead was further extended on the five-minute power play when a wrist shot by Nathan Free ramped off an Oiler defender’s skate and past Sawka for a 4-1 score.

But Brooks stormed back late in the second, first getting a Jackson Rowland (Calgary, AB) rebound goal, then Neumann’s second on a wrister from the slot set up by Shayne Tibbles (Calgary, AB) at the end wall to make it just 4-3 after two.

But Brooks again converted first in the third on an Aiden Fink rebound goal, before Nick Wolfenberg (Calgary, AB) had his point shot tipped home by Sam Huck (Calgary, AB) to make it a one-goal deficit again. But Caelan Fitzpatrick iced it with an empty net goal late to seal the 6-4 final score.

The Oilers will return home to host the Camrose Kodiaks on Tuesday night in Okotoks; tickets are available online at tickets.okotoksoilers.ca.