Photo – Avid Photography:
The Okotoks Oilers have captured the Dave Duchak Trophy as the AJHL Regular Season Champions for the first time in the 13-year history of the team. The award was presented to the captains of the Oilers prior to Sunday’s final regular season game in Okotoks.
The Okotoks Oilers completed the season atop the AJHL Standings with a record of 52-6-2 and 106 points. The South Division team led the league with the Most Wins, Fewest Loses, Most Points, Most Goals For (270) and Fewest Goals Against (132).
The 2017-2018 regular season will end with the Oilers riding a record breaking 24 game win streak; a 30 year-old record previously held by the 1997-1998 Calgary Canucks. The Oilers will also enter the AJHL Record Book in the following areas; tied for second in the category of Most Wins in a Single Season (52), fifth in the category of Fewest Loses in a Single Season (6), and tied for second in the area of Most Points in a Single Season (106).
The Oilers also set new franchise records for Most Wins and Most Points in a Single Season. Okotoks has twice previously placed first in the Viterra AJHL South Division (2009-2010 and 2010-2011).
The Okotoks Oilers were listed in the CJHL Top 20 Weekly Rankings for the majority of the season and spent the final weeks in the number two spot.
The annual league award is in the namesake of David Duchak, the first Commissioner of the Alberta Junior Hockey League. The Dave Duchak Trophy has been won by either the Brooks Bandits or the Spruce Grove Saints for the past nine seasons.
Members of the Okotoks Oilers captured four other league awards at the completion of the AJHL regular season: Coach of the Year (Tyler Deis), Top Goaltender (Riley Morris), Top Defenceman (Jacob Bernard-Docker) and Top Team Goaltenders (Riley Morris / Ben Howard). The awards were also presented in a pre-game ceremony this afternoon.
Oilers goaltenders Riley Morris and Ben Howard were awarded as the recipients of the Reebok / CCM Top Team Goaltenders Award following Sunday’s game in Okotoks. The Top Team Goaltenders award is presented annually to the goaltenders of the team with the lowest goals against average (GAA) in the regular season.
The Oilers allowed just 132 goals, crediting a 2.2 GAA to the Oilers netminders. Riley Morris was awarded as the 2017-2018 Top Goaltender for the AJHL. He posted a record of 31-2-2 and recorded 4 shutouts with a 1.98 GAA.
The 21 year-old from Calgary, AB is in his fourth AJHL season as a member of the Okotoks Oilers. In his final season, he has set new franchise records for Most Career Shutouts (10), Most Game Played by a Goaltender (141) and Most Career Wins (88).
Rookie Ben Howard (Calgary, AB) held an impressive record of 22-3-1 for the Oilers. The 17 year-old finished the season fifth overall among all goaltenders with a 2.33 GAA and .911 SV%. Howard opened the season with nine consecutive wins for the Oilers and won 15 of his first 16 AJHL starts.
As the first-place team in the Viterra AJHL South Division, the Okotoks Oilers have guaranteed themselves a first round bye in the 2018 Inter Pipeline AJHL Playoffs.
A complete schedule for the 2018 Inter Pipeline AJHL Playoffs will be available on the AJHL website AJHL.ca on Monday, March 5th. The top seven teams in each division qualify for the AJHL Playoffs with the highest ranked seed awarded home ice advantage.