OKOTOKS, AB (September 3, 2022) – The Okotoks Oilers trailed 4-0 less than halfway through the game, but stormed back to force overtime with the visiting Brooks Bandits on Saturday night, before dropping a 6-5 decision in a three-round shootout in front of a crowd of 611 at Centennial Arena.
The shootout loss drops the Oilers’ preseason record to 2-0-1 as they prepare for the rematch on Sunday afternoon in Brooks at 4:00 PM.
Despite outshooting the Bandits 7-5 in the first, the Oilers found themselves down 2-0 after twenty minutes thanks in no small part to four first period penalty kills. Shots off the rush from Nathan Free at 8:39 and Aiden Fink at 18:12 gave Brooks the early advantage.
In the second, Hudson Malinoski scored from a sharp angle at 2:49 before Brendan Mairs scored on a net front scramble at 8:31 to take a commanding 4-0 lead.
But the Oilers responded less than a minute later when Brody Spencer-Ha (Foothills County, AB) tipped home a net front feed from Jackson Rowland to get the Oilers on the board. Less than a minute after that, on a two-man breakway, Ty Yoder (Tofield, AB) fed a pass across to Jagger Tapper (Calgary, AB), who one-timed home his second of the preseason to make it 4-2.
The Oilers pressed in the third as well, getting to within one when Austin Reschny (Macklin, SK) scored on a rebound at 9:10 to make it a 4-3 game. Brooks got one back 34 seconds later on a Hunter Wallace one-timer, but Hunter Sawka (Cochrane, AB) then scored just 50 seconds after that off the rush to make it 5-4. Then, at the 13:28 mark, Dean Spak (Calgary, AB) scored on a bar-down wrister from the high slot to tie the game 5-5.
After a fiery overtime frame, the Bandits got goals in the extra frame from Free and Fink to take the extra preseason point.
The Oilers were outshot 26-24 in the game, going 1 for 4 on the power play and 5 for 8 on the penalty kill, with Parker Sawka (Cochrane, AB) making 21 saves in the game.