Day 1 of AJHL Showcase sees Oil Barons, Dragons, Bobcats and Oilers pick up wins

BROOKS, AB (September 30, 2021) – The 2021 AJHL Showcase in Brooks is off and running, thanks to a thrilling opening day at the Centennial Regional Arena.

Photo: Em Duncan

Fort McMurray 3, Camrose 2
Players of the Game: Tyler Wallace (FTM), Callum Gau (CAM)

The Fort McMurray Oil Barons got a late 1st period powerplay goal from Tyler Wallace and a mid-2nd period Lucas Jones goal to take a 2-0 lead. But Camrose would score on a scramble play in the 3rd to cut the lead to 2-1. The Barons would get it back on a Tristen Kimmen net front shot to make it 3-1, and despite the Kodiaks receiving a Callum Gau goal on an uncovered puck, that’s as close as Camrose would get as the Barons begin the Showcase with a win.

Drumheller 5, Grande Prairie 1
Players of the Game: Carter Belitski (DRM), Sam Vincent (GP)

The Drumheller Dragons held off early pressure from the Storm and it paid off, scoring two goals with under four minutes in the 1st Period from Carter Belitski and Sam Simard. Belitski added another five minutes into the 2nd, and Drumheller got a powerplay goal from Sam Lozinski to make it 4-0, holding the Storm to just 4 shots in the period. Grande Prairie got one back on a Sam Vincent powerplay goal, but Dragons goaltender Eric Ward wouldn’t surrender another, as Will Christian added an empty netter to seal the 5-1 Drumheller win.

Lloydminster 6, Calgary 5
Players of the Game: Ethan Aucoin (LLO), Justin Barker (CGY)

The game with the most goals of the day saw the Lloydminster Bobcats outlast the Canucks in a barnburner. Ethan Aucoin scored a pair of a goals followed by a Nik Hoogendoorn marker in the opening 12 minutes to take a 3-0 lead. But Calgary came storming back, tying up the game on goals from Justin Barker, Dylan Clark and Matt Corbet in the 2nd. After exchanging goals to tie the game 4-4, the Bobcats took a 5-4 led a minute into the 3rd on a Mack Stewart shot. The Canucks tied the game 5-5 with four minutes to go, but a Matthew Swanson goal with three minutes left sealed the 6-5 win for the ‘Cats.

Okotoks 3, Spruce Grove 2
Players of the Game: Austin Zavoda (OKO), Logan Acheson (SPR)

The 2018 AJHL Championship Final rematch was a nailbiter to end the day. Logan Acheson got an early Saints powerplay goal, but less than two minutes later, Denver-commit Rieger Lorenz tied the game 1-1. Okotoks capitalized on two 2nd period powerplay goals from Conyr Hellyer and Carter Massier, and despite the Saints getting a late goal in the 3rd period from Shane LaVelle, the Oilers held on for a 3-2 victory.

Friday’s action sees the Storm take on the Kodiaks at 10:30am, followed by a 1:30pm puck drop between the Oil Barons and the Blackfalds Bulldogs. At 4:30pm, the Bobcats battle the Olds Grizzlys, and then at 7:30pm is the much anticipated showdown between the Saints and the host Brooks Bandits.

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