Bow Mark Oilers showcasing resiliency

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The road continues to be kind to the Bow Mark Oilers.

Okotoks made it six games unbeaten away from home with a pair of victories at the Alberta Midget AAA Hockey League Showcase in St. Albert to snap an overall four-game winless run.

“Every weekend is a big weekend and it’s always nice to get some wins on the road,” said Bow Mark head coach Kevin Willison. “The games we have given up have been the games at home. Sometimes it’s nice to get the kids together on the road, that team building atmosphere where the guys are hanging around together on the bus.”

Okotoks made out like bandits in the showcase opener, a 2-1 victory over the St. Albert Raiders on Saturday.

Goaltender Hunter Young stole the result for the visitors in a 56-save effort.

Jaevon Buschlen scored and captain Joel Krahenbil notched the game-winner on a late third period penalty shot.

“We didn’t play that well and Hunter certainly gave us a point,” Willison said. “I think we got lucky there. The last minute and thirty seconds they had a 6-on-4 and we found a way to keep the puck out of the net.”

After eking two points in a defensive battle, the Oilers showed they can win in a variety of ways.

Okotoks took it to the MLAC Beverly Optimists by a 7-3 count on Sunday.

Isaac Benoit scored shorthanded in a two-goal game while Buschlen added two goals along with tallies from Krahenbil, Kale Clouston and Kelton Travis.

The trio of Krahenbil, Benoit and Clouston combined for four goals and seven points.

“We travelled on Saturday and seemed like we had bus legs and couldn’t shake it and Sunday they were a little bit more looser and there was a little more offence,” the coach added. “It was coming from guys we expect to get offence from and it was good to see.”

The Oilers improved to 4-0-2 away from the friendly confines of Pason Centennial Arena where they’ve posted a 2-3-1 mark in the early going.

“It’s not a very complicated game,” Willison said. “Sometimes the young kids kind of confuse themselves into doing more than they have to, but on the road it’s just been a great team effort all the time. They sacrifice, they block shots and we’re getting fantastic goaltending.”

Both netminders have won three games in split duty with Ty Tarvyd ranking fourth in the province with a .945 save percentage and Young posting a strong .924 mark in the same category.

Okotoks (6-3-3) gets back on the road this weekend with dates in Grande Prairie and Leduc on Nov. 11, 12, respectively.

“Being a solid team on the ice, doing the little things right, the unforced errors and puck turnovers are certainly going to be a key for us,” Willison said. “We just have to manage the puck and I think we’re going to be just fine.”

The Oilers next home date is Nov. 18 against the Raiders.

For full schedule information go to amhl.ab.ca

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