Opening weekend in the AJHL continued with five more games on Saturday, including three rematches from Friday night.
Drumheller Dragons (0-0-0) @ Calgary Canucks (1-0-0)
Three assists from Ethan James and a 24 save shutout for Curtis Skip lead Dragons to 3-0 win over the Canucks.
Drumheller opened the scoring on the power play as Jacob Schofield (assists Mitchell Cook and Ethan James @12:07) was left all alone in front of Canucks (starting) goaltender Colin Cooper and slide a low shot into the net to make it 1-0. Shots favoured the Dragons 12-6 in the first period.
Drumheller would extend their lead in the second as Cody Fiala (assists Jacob Schofield and Ethan James @9:57) came out of the penalty box took a drop pass and fired the puck past Coopers blocker hand to make it 2-0. Shots favoured the Dragons 13-12 in the period and 25-18 in the game.
Drumheller would salt things away in third with another power play goal as Mitchell Cook (assists to Ethan James and Wyatt Noskey @17:36) fired a rebound over Coopers blocker to make it 3-0. Shots would favour the Dragons 13-6 in the period and 38-24.
Drumheller returns to action September 12th when they host the Calgary Mustangs, as for the Canucks they return to action on September 11th when they host the Whitecourt Wolverines.
Okotoks Oilers (0-0-0) @ Olds Grizzlys (0-1-0)
Carson Beers overtime goal leads Oilers to 3-2 overtime comeback victory over Grizzlys.
The Grizzlys opened the scoring while on a 5 on 3 power play as Chris Gerrie (assists to Alex Brewer and Kodi Schwarz @14:21) pounced on a rebound banging the puck behind Oilers (starting) goaltender Devon Fordyce. The Grizzlys would continue to pour on the pressure as Landon Kletke (assists to Kyle Star and Kodi Schwarz @15:37) connected on a cross crease pass just as their power play came to a close. The Oilers would outshoot the Grizzlys 13-11 in the opening period but trail 2-0 after one.
Okotoks would get on the board in the second as Justin Meier (assists to Rhett Gardner and Trey Degraaf@11:17) would take a pass and walk in from the point firing the shot over the glove hand of Grizzlys (starting) goaltender Jordan Piccolino to make it 2-1 in favour of the Grizzlys. The Oilers would then tie the game a 2-2 on the power play as Carson Beers' (assists to Rhett Gardner and Justin Meier @15:26) point shot found a way through a maze of bodies beating Piccolino. Shots favoured the Grizzlys 10-8 in the period and both teams had 21 shots apiece after two periods.
Neither team would score in the third period sending the game to overtime. Shots favoured the Oilers 11-6 in the period and 32-27 after three periods.
Late in overtime Carson Beers (assist to Rhys Kipling @4:30) fired a shot from the left faceoff circle to give the Oilers the 3-2 win in overtime. Shots favoured the Oilers 3-2 in overtime and 35-29 in the hockey game.
Next game for both teams will be September 12th in Okotoks.
Whitecourt Wolverines (1-0-0) @ Spruce Grove Saints (0-1-0)
Jarid Hauptman's four point night helps Saints to 5-4 win over Wolverines on banner raising night for Spruce Grove.
Whitecourt would open the scoring on the power play as Joel Kocur (assists to John Mullally and Alec Jon Banville @9:49) would be left alone in the slot and make no mistake beating Saints (starting) goaltender Patrick Gora to the blocker side to make it 1-0. Shots would favour the Saints 10-9 in the opening period.
Spruce Grove would tie the game early in the second period as Jarid Hauptman (assists to Nicolas Correale and Jake Mykitiuk @3:27) would dance his way through the middle of ice and beat Wolverines (starting) goaltender Simon Lemieux. The Saints would keep coming on the power play as Cole Nicholson (assists to Jake Mykitiuk and Jarid Hauptman @5:46) would hammer a shot from the point to give the Saints the lead 2-1. Whitecourt would respond as John Mullally (unassisted @13:40) would drive the front of the net and backhand the puck behind Gora to tie the game at 2-2. The Saints would retake the lead when Jake Mykitiuk (assist to Jarid Hauptman @15:06) snapped a shot right off the faceoff past Lemieux. The Saints added to their lead two minutes later as Austin Hunter (assist to Cole Nicholson @17:41) walked into the slot and snapped a shot over Lemieux's glove hand to give the Saints a 4-2 lead. Shots favoured the Saints 14-8 in the period and 24-17 through two periods.
Whitecourt would get within one as John Mullally (assist to Evan Warmington @2:39) walked into the slot and fired a shot over Gora's blocker. The Saints got their two goal lead back on the power play when Austin Hunter (assists to Cole Nicholson and Jarid Hauptman @10:14) goes bar down to get his second of the night to make it 5-3. The Wolverines once again got within one as John Mullally (assists to Pierre Ouellette and Joel Kocur @15:54) completed the hat trick by finding the garbage in front of the net and sliding the puck into the net. That would be as close as the Wolverines would get as the Saints held on for a 5-4 victory. Shots favoured the Saints 9-8 in the period and 33-25 in the hockey game.
Whitecourt will return to action on Thursday night when they travel to Calgary to take on the Canucks. Spruce Grove will return to the ice on September 12th when they travel to Sherwood Park to take on the Crusaders.
Bonnyville Pontiacs (1-0-0) @ Grande Prairie Storm (0-1-0)
Four power play goals not enough for the Pontiacs as they fall 6-4 to Grande Prairie.
After not scoring on Friday night the Storm would get the game's first goal as Ian McLellan (assists to Jade McMullen and Ben Assad @9:53) backhanded a shot over the glove of Pontiacs (starting) goaltender Joey Desrosiers to make it 1-0. Grande Prairie would add to their lead on the power play when Hayden Berra (assists to David Randall and Allan MacPherson @11:47) snapped a shot from the left faceoff circle to make it 2-0. Bonnyville would get on the board on a power play of their own as Luke Mahura (assist to Ryan Black @16:55) wired a shot from the left faceoff circle past the blocker hand of Storm (starting) goaltender Andy Gilker. Shots favoured the Storm 15-9 in the opening period.
It wouldn't take long for the Storm to strike in the second period as Jade McMullen (assist to Ben Assad @1:35) broke down the left side and fired a low wrist shot over the glove hand of Desrosiers to make it 3-1. Bonnyville would get that goal back with their second power play goal of the game when Ryan Black (assist to Dillan McCombie @10:16) would drive a point shot go from the point to make it 3-2 Storm. Just three minutes later the Storm would once again reclaim their two goal advantage as Chase Bell (assists to Austin Parmiter and Braeden Jones) would drive to the front of the net go low blocker side to make it 4-2. Just 1:08 after that Dillan McCombie (assist to Alden Dupuis @14:30) would get Bonnyville's third power play goal of the game with a wrist shot from the blue line. Both teams had 11 shots in the period. Grande Prairie held a 26-20 shot edge after two periods.
Bonnyville would tie the game at 4-4 when Luke Mahura (assists to Kyler Hehn and Braiden Doucette @9:49) would get his second power play goal of the game going high glove side on Andy Gilker. Grande Prairie would regain the lead thanks to Parker Wakaruk's (assists to Blake Bosch and Dondre Watson @14:21) point shot that found its way through. The Storm would get some insurance 2:30 later when Allan MacPherson (assists to Ben Assad and Ian McLellan @16:56) jammed the loose puck into the net to make it 6-4 in favour of Grande Prairie. Shots favoured the Storm 10-3 in the third period and 36-23 in the hockey game.
Bonnyville will return home on September 12th to host Lloydminster in their next game. Grande Prairie will host the Fort McMurray Oil Barons on September 12th for their next game.
Drayton Valley Thunder (0-0-1) @ Fort McMurray Oil Barons (1-0-0)
Zach Fortin's 36 save shutout leads Oil Barons to 3-0 win over Drayton Valley.
Neither team would score in the opening period. Fort McMurray outshot the Thunder 12-11 in the opening period.
Fort McMurray would light the lamp in the second period as Austin Holmes (assist to Mitchell Vanderlaan @5:34) would find the loose puck in the slot and backhand a shot over Thunder (starting) goaltender Marc Olivier Daigle to make it 1-0. Later in the period Salvatore Scalise (assist to Jackson McKinstry @12:07) would finish off a three on two breakaway to give the Oil Barons a 2-0 lead after two periods. Both teams had 15 shots in the period and the Oil Barons had a 27-26 shot advantage.
The Thunder would push in the third period, however it was Jetlan Houcher (assist to Danton Ayotte @19:31) who would finish off the scoring by scoring into the empty net from just on the happy side of center ice to give Fort McMurray a 3-0 lead. Shots favoured the Thunder 10-3 in the third period and 36-30 in the hockey game.
Drayton Valley will return home September 13th to host the Lloydminster Bobcats. Fort McMurray will set out on the road to take on Lloydminster on September 10th for their next game.
By Chris Colwell
It felt like summer throughout much of the province on Friday, but for 12 teams it was winter time which means, it is hockey season as the 51st AJHL season opened up.
Calgary Mustangs (0-0-0) @ Calgary Canucks (0-0-0)
Logan Franz would score twice as the Calgary Canucks knock off the Calgary Mustangs 6-3 in the first of six battles of Calgary this season.
The Mustangs would open the scoring late in the first period as Mason Mitchell (assists to Sean Davies and Colby Chartier @14:06) redirected Sean Davies point over the glove of Canucks (starting) goaltender Colin Cooper. The Canucks would answer back when a miscue behind the net by Mustangs (starting) goaltender Ravi Dattani allowed Colton Sheen (assists to Tyler Barrett and Michael Janz @14:34) to fire the puck into the net from the slot. Shots favored the Canucks 19-9 in the opening period.
The Canucks would take their first lead of the game as Logan Franz finished off a cross crease pass (assists to Trent Geiger and Cade Owad @4:52). Shortly after that Bryson Gore (Jordan Weist @5:25) would get sprung on a clear cut breakaway and make no mistake going bar down to extend their lead to 3-1. The Canucks weren't done there as Logan Franz would get his second of the period (assists to Jordan Weist and Cade Owad @16:57) snapping a shot from the left faceoff circle that would find its way through Dattani to make it 4-1 Canucks. Shots were 15 (24) – 13 (32) in favor of the Mustangs.
The Canucks added to their lead in the third as Michael Clarke (unassisted @3:19) put the puck past the glove hand of Dattani to make it 5-1. The Canucks would not let up as Michael Janz (assist to Colton Sheen and Tyler Barrett @5:11) was able to squeeze the puck underneath Dattani on a delayed penalty to make it 6-1. The Mustangs would draw within four on the power play as Ramano Morrison (assists to Colby Chartier and Mason Mitchell@8:14) shoveled the puck over Cooper to make it 6-2 Canucks. The Mustangs continued to get some momentum for their next game as Chandler Irvin (assist to Jared Virtanen @11:49) wristed a shot that Cooper couldn't hold onto to make it 6-3 Canucks. Shots finished up favoring the Canucks in the third period 13-10 and 45-34 in the hockey game.
The Mustangs will be in Drumheller September 12th, while the Canucks will host Drumheller September 6th.
Camrose Kodiaks (0-0-0) @ Olds Grizzlys (0-0-0)
It was the Nelson Gadoury show as his hat trick leads the Kodiaks to opening night 4-3 win over the Grizzlys.
Camrose would get the game’s first goal as Cam Gotaas (assists to Braden Salverda and Cole McBride @16:41) finished off a beautiful backhand pass from Braden Salverda to open the scoring. Shots favored the Kodiaks 13-5 in the opening period.
In the second the Kodiaks extended their lead while shorthanded when Nelson Gadoury (unassisted @7:40) stole the puck and out waited Grizzlys (starter) Jordan Piccolino to make it 2-0. The Grizzlys would get on the board late in the period on the Power Play as Kyle Moore (assists to Josh Zablocki and Jack Goranson @17:45) redirected a point shot from Goranson. 30 seconds after that though the Kodiaks would restore their two goal lead thanks to Nelson Gadoury's second of the period (night) (assist to T.J. Brown @18:15) when he hesitated on a shot from the slot and was able to beat Piccolino over the glove to make it 3-1 after two. Both teams would get just four shots in the period and after two the Kodiaks were outshooting the Grizzlys 17-9.
Nelson Gadoury (assists to T.J. Brown and Cole McBride @7:08) would complete the hat trick early in the third period as the puck bounced around going off Gadoury and into the net to make it 4-1 Kodiaks. The Grizzlys would make of game of it late with a couple of late goals, first on the power play Chris Gerrie (assists to Josh Zablocki and Kyle Moore @17:21) put a shot off both posts and into the net behind Kodiaks (starting) goaltender Matthew Zentner. Just 1:30 after that Dustin Gorgi (assists to Landon Kletke and Kyle Moore @18:51) got the puck in the slot and tapped it into the net to cut the Kodiaks lead to 4-3, but that is as close as the Grizzlys would get. Shots would favor the Kodiaks 17-12 in the period and 34-21 in the hockey game.
Camrose will be back in action on September 12th in Brooks, while Olds will host Okotoks on September 6th.
Spruce Grove Saints (0-0-0) @ Whitecourt Wolverines (0-0-0)
Gordie Ballhorn and John Mullally scored 21 seconds apart late in the third period as the Wolverines come from behind to defeat the Saints 4-3.
The Saints would get the game’s first goal as Isaac Farah’s (Colton Leiter and Charlie Gawlicki @18:57) point shot found its way through Wolverines (starting) goaltender Simon Lemieux to give the Saints a 1-0 lead after one period. The shots favored the Saints 8-4.
In the second period the Wolverines would tie the game at 1-1 as Alec Jon Banville (assists to Joseph Nardi and Kellan Cornelis @ 12:13) finished off a 2 on 1 beating Saints (starting) goaltender Tanner McCorriston. Spruce Grove would get that goal back on the power play as Riley Simpson (assists to Tyler Busch and Colton Leiter @14:38) fired a shot from the right faceoff circle that found its way through Lemieux to make it 2-1. Shots favored the Saints 12-3 in the period and 20-7 in the game after two periods.
Whitecourt would once again tie the game in the third period as Morgan Messenger (assists to Brandon Switzer and Ben Fonteyne @8:22) would fire a shot from the slot over the blocker of McCorriston. Spruce Grove would once again retake the lead a short time later when Connor Lukan (assists to Macklin Pichonsky and Jarid Hauptman @11:34) broke down the left side and fired a shot off the far post and in. The Wolverines would once again tie the game as Gordie Ballhorn (Brandon Switzer and Alec Jon Banville @17:50) wouldn't be denied banging the puck in from the side of the goal. Just 21 seconds after that the Wolverines would take their first lead of the night when John Mullally (assists to Joel Kocur and Evan Warmington @18:11) decided to keep the puck and drive to the net backhanding the puck behind McCorriston to make it 4-3. Shots favored the Wolverines 14-5 in the game, but favored the Saints 25-21 in the game.
These two teams will meet up again September 6th in Spruce Grove.
Bonnyville Pontiacs (0-0-0) @ Grande Prairie Storm (0-0-0)
Joey Desrosiers pitches 27 save shutout as Pontiacs open with 3-0 win over the Storm.
Bonnyville would open the scoring in the first period as Chad Hurtubise (assists to Michael Iovanna and Braiden Doucette @8:29) pounced on a rebound that was kicked out to far by Strom (starting) goaltender Liam McLeoad. Shots favored the Pontiacs 14-9 in the opening period.
The Pontiacs would add to the lead in the second period as Michael Iovanna (assists to Alden Dupuis and Chad Hurtubise @6:00) was left all alone to drive to the front of the net and slide the puck five hole to make it 2-0. Late in the period the Pontiacs would make it 3-0 as Ryan Symington (assists to Steenn Pasichnuk and Holden Daley @18:25) and the rest of the Pontiacs crashed the net and jammed the puck into the back of the net. Shots favored the Storm 11-10 in the second period, but favored the Pontiacs 24-20 after two periods.
Neither team would score in the third period. Both teams had seven shots in the period. Pontiacs would outshoot the Storm 31-27 in the hockey game.
These two teams will play in Grande Prairie again on September 6th.
Sherwood Park Crusaders (0-0-0) @ Lloydminster Bobcats (0-0-0)
Bobcats outlast Crusaders with 4-3 shootout victory.
The Crusaders opened the scoring as Tyler Maltby (assist to Dane Phaneuf @5:36) was able to put the puck behind Bobcats (starting) goaltender Devin Green. Shots favored the Bobcats 10-8 in the opening period.
Lloydminster would tie the game early in the second period as Linden Springer (Assists to Eric Therrien and Cam Seto) was able to beat Crusaders (starting goaltender) Tommy Nixon. Sherwood Park would retake the lead three minutes later as Liam Gregor (assist to Dane Phaneuf @9:36) put the Crusaders back on top 2-1. Just 30 seconds after that Tanner Laderoute (assists to Chad McCann and Brett Van Os @10:06) would give the Crusaders a 3-1 lead. Less than two minutes later Brett Everson (assists to Austin Yaremchuk and Troy Rapuano) would capitalize on a power play to cut the Crusaders lead to 3-2. Shots favored the Bobcats 9-7 in the period and 19-15 after two periods.
The Bobcats would wait until the final moments before tying the game as Linden Springer (assists to Troy Van Tetering and Eric Therrien @19:38) would score while shorthanded to send the game to overtime. Shots favored the Bobcats 7-4 in the period and 26-19 after three periods.
Neither team would score in the five minute overtime. Lloydminster would outshoot the Sherwood Park 3-2 in the period and 29-21 in the hockey game.
In the shootout Sherwood Park would send Arthur Gordon and Liam Gregor to the shootout, while Lloydminster would send Lukas Biensch and Troy Van Tetering. Both Bobcat shooters would light the lamp, while both Crusader shooters would be stopped.
The Crusaders will be back in action on September 12th when the host the Saints, While the Bobcats will also return to the ice on September 12th when they travel to Bonnyville to take on the Pontiacs.
Drayton Valley Thunder (0-0-0) @ Fort McMuray Oil Barons (0-0-0)
Oil Barons win goaltending duel over Thunder 2-1 in overtime.
Drayton Valley opened the scoring as Jason Miller (assist to Brayden Harris @16:22) was able to beat Oil Barons (starting) goaltender Jesse Gordichuk to make it 1-0 Thunder after one. Shots favored the Thunder 14-6.
Neither team would score in the second period. Fort McMurray outshot Drayton Valley 21-15 in the period, but it was Thunder who were outshooting the Oil Barons 29-27 after two.
Early in the third Danton Ayotte (unassisted @0:17) would tie the game at 1-1 when he beat Thunder (starting) goaltender Marc Olivier Daigle. Shots favored the Thunder 14-10 in the third period and 43-37 after 60 minutes.
It was the Oil Barons that would dominate the extra period and get rewarded when Jetlan Houcher (assist to Adam Durkee @3:27) was able to light the lamp to give the Oil Barons the win 2-1. Shots favored the Oil Barons 4-1 in overtime, but would favor the Thunder 44-41 in the hockey game.
The two teams will once again meet up in Fort McMurray on September 6th.
By Chris Colwell