Road warrior Oilers extend winning ways

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In a season of highs the Okotoks Oilers continue to redefine their apex.

Okotoks (40-6-2) extended its winning streak to a season high 12 games in the Alberta Junior Hockey League following a weekend sweep of a tough northern trip with stops in Grande Prairie, Whitecourt and Sherwood Park.

“Everyone is working hard together and we’re getting the results we need,” said Oilers forward Tanner Laderoute, the AJHL offensive player of the week. “We’re beating good teams, too. It’s not like we have an easy schedule so it’s really good to see.”

Forwards Austin Wong, Kyle Gordon, Carter Huber and defenceman Hoon Kim lit the lamp as Okotoks blanked the Grande Prairie Storm 4-0 on Friday. Laderoute added three assists in the win.

Riley Morris made 18 saves to pick up his 10th career shutout, eclipsing Bradley Eidsness for the Okotoks franchise record.

The Calgarian went down to injury in the contest and didn’t see any action the rest of the weekend.

Rookie Ben Howard stood in capably as Okotoks took its winning ways to Whitecourt.

Backstopped by Howard’s 16 saves, Gordon, Wong and blueliner Nick Blankenburg scored as the Oilers chased the Wolverines by a 3-1 count on Saturday.

The weekend finale proved to be the stiffest test.

Okotoks fought off a shaky middle frame and third period surge to dispatch the Sherwood Park Crusaders 8-5 on Sunday.

Laderoute extended his points streak to 10 games with a career high four-goal effort, Wong added a goal and two helpers while linemate Quinn Olson and defenceman Jacob Bernard-Docker chipped in with a goal and an assist and Blankenburg fired in his 16th of the campaign.

“That’s the team I got traded from,” said Laderoute, an Edmonton native. “I wanted to show their GM that they shouldn’t have made the trade they did. I’m happy I got traded, but I have a point to prove.”

Howard was busy in turning aside 35 shots for his 20th victory of a stellar freshman campaign.

Impressively, Okotoks’ 12-game run has come without the services of key contributors in centre Dylan Holloway and blueliner Ryan Roberts.

“That just truly speaks to our depth, it’s incredible,” Laderoute added. “It doesn’t matter if a couple guys go down we have people that can step up and play and do what we need them to do.

“It’s just an awesome team we have here.”

Okotoks is back home this weekend for a pair of rematches.

Sherwood Park and Whitecourt make the trip to Pason Centennial Arena on Feb. 3 and 4. The Wolverines tilt is a matinee 4:15 p.m. start.

For more information go to okotoksoilers.ca

Top Prospects

Okotoks Oilers fans need no introduction to Austin Wong’s style of play.

Hockey enthusiasts on a national scale got their chance to see it first hand last week as Wong showcased his physicality and scoring touch en route to earning Team West Player of the Game honours in the CJHL Top Prospects Game Jan. 23 in Mississauga.

Wong levied a number of devastating hits and scored two goals including the game winner as Team West edged Team East by a 5-2 score. Fellow Oiler Ben Sanderson also scored in the victory while Okotoks’ Jacob Bernard-Docker put in another workmanlike performance from the back-end.

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