Jr. Oilers earn first showcase sweep
Hockey: Okotoks picks up pair of victories at AJHLs marquee weekend
By: By Remy Greer
| Posted: Wednesday, Oct 02, 2013 06:00 am
The Okotoks Junior A Oilers showcased a myriad of ways to win at the Alberta Junior Hockey League’s annual exhibition of talent.
Okotoks walked away with a perfect 2-0 record for the first time in seven tries at the AJHL Showcase weekend, Sept. 26-27 in Spruce Grove, the league’s annual scouting extravaganza.
Okotoks edged the host Spruce Grove Saints 3-2 on Thursday and doubled up the Whitecourt Wolverines by a 6-3 count a day later.
“Whitecourt last year I don’t think we had a win against them and Spruce Grove is definitely going to be a contender when things get down to the wire,” said Oilers head coach/GM James Poole. “So to come away with four points is definitely a positive. It’s the first time we’ve gone 2-0 at the Showcase.
“Our play has definitely progressed from the previous weekend.”
It was a seesaw affair in Okotoks’ tilt with the showcase hosts.
Rookie Taylor Allan’s unassisted marker and Spencer Kryczka’s powerplay goal were answered in the second period by a pair from Spruce Grove’s Tyler Busch. Captain Robbie Fisher answered the bell in the third as his powerplay goal would hold up as the game-winner.
Jared D’Amico was his usual stellar self in goal, stopping 27 of 29 shots.
“I thought our decision making wasn’t quite where it should because some players maybe mentally were a little nervous knowing there were so many scouts in the stands,” Poole said. “But we addressed it after the first game and I thought our kids did a really good job of committing to team first.”
On Friday, the offensive floodgates opened against the Wolverines. Mitch Collett, Connor Hartley, Tariq Hammond, Allan, Tanner Ockey and John Edwardh all tickled the twine for the Oil.
Okotoks finished a gaudy 4-for-8 on the powerplay as 11 different Oilers registered at least one point in the slugfest.
“Our goalies have been playing great for us and fortunately this weekend our powerplay was clicking,” said Hammond. “We kept it simple. The first couple games of the season we were trying to do too much, made things too complicated.
“Whitecourt they sit back so us defenceman had a lot of time up top which helps us get our shots through.”
The Oilers carried the momentum into 4 to 2 victory over the Calgary Canucks, Monday night at Max Bell Arena.
Despite badly outshooting the Canucks, the Oilers trailed 2-1 early in the third period before storming back with three unanswered markers.
Kryczka led the charges with two tallies along with goals from Braeden Salverda and Edwardh.
Netminder Keelan Williams picked up his first win as an Oiler, stopping 23 of 25 Calgary shots.
Okotoks (5-2-1) and Calgary renew acquaintances on Friday at Pason Centennial Arena at 7 p.m. It will mark the Oilers’ first home appearance in 20 days when they came from behind to defeat the Brooks Bandits on Sept. 14.
“We’re getting to a part of our schedule where we’re starting to get more home games,” Poole said. “We feel like we play a bit of a different game in our home rink, with some confidence.
“Getting back there Friday will be nice and hopefully the crowds come back out and get interested in Oilers hockey again.”
Following the Canucks game, the Oilers head north on Saturday to meet the rival Camrose Kodiaks for the first time this season.
For ticket info call the Oilers business office at 403-995-2237 or go to okotoksoilers.ca