Photo – Dave Watling:
(4) Okotoks Oilers vs. (5) Camrose Kodiaks Oilers lead 2-0
After surviving a scare in game one and having to go to double overtime to get a victory, Okotoks came out in game two and dominated the Kodiaks to take a 2-0 series lead.
Game #1: What a way to open up what should be a tight series as Tanner Laderoute ended game one 28:03 into overtime to give Okotoks a 3-2 win over Camrose. The Kodiaks would get into penalty trouble early in the game forcing Patrick Gora to come up with some big saves to keep the game scoreless. Eventually, the Kodiaks would open the scoring while shorthanded as Josh Zablocki (unassisted @8:07) was able to beat Riley Morris. Okotoks would tie the game on the same power play as Tanner Laderoute (assists Jacob-Bernard Docker and Nolan Thompson @8:51) would beat Gora. Later in the opening frame, the Oilers would get into penalty trouble, but thanks to some big stops by Riley Morris to keep the game tied 1-1 after 20 minutes. Shots were for the Kodiaks 12-10.
Penalty trouble continued to get the Kodiaks in trouble in the middle period as the Oilers would capitalize on one of their three opportunities as Carter Huber (assists to Jordan Davies and Tanner Laderoute @12:16) would give Okotoks their first lead of the night. Shots were 12-5 Oilers in the second and 22-17 through 40 minutes.
Camrose would not get many opportunities in the third, but they were able to tie the game when TJ Brown (assists to Macking Bauer and Tate Coughlin @15:58) would put the puck behind Morris with less than five minutes to go in regulation. Shots were 11-5 Oilers in the third and 33-22 after regulation.
The first overtime period wouldn't solve anything for the two clubs, despite the Oilers get several chances to win the game but were unable to find the back of the net and it was off to double overtime. Eight minutes into the second overtime period Tanner Laderoute (assists to Reece Soukoroff and Nolan Thompson @8:03) would get his second of the game to send the hometown fans home happy. Shots favored the Oilers 21-7 in overtime and 54-29 in the game. Patrick Gora was given the Kodiaks game star, making 51 saves in a tough overtime setback.
Had the Oilers score early and often en route to a 7-1 victory.
Right from the opening faceoff, the Oilers would put the Kodiaks back on their heels, and it wouldn't take long for Okotoks to get on the board as Austin Wong (assists to Kyle Gordon and Jordan Xavier @1:48) would open the scoring. Camrose was trying to find a way to even the game, but Trey Degraaf (assists to Riley Mathies and Jordie Lawson @8:38) would give Okotoks a 2-0 lead. The offense kept coming for the home side when Nolan Thompson (assists to Tanner Laderoute and Carter Huber @16:28) would get his third point of the series to make it 3-0 after one. Shots were 13-7 Oilers.
The middle period wouldn't get any better for the visitors who would find themselves in penalty trouble, and the Oilers would make them pay. Trey Degraaf (Austin Wong and Jordie Lawson @3:05) snapped his second of the game behind Patrick Gora, chasing the Kodiaks starter from between the pipes. Unfortunately, Joseph May he would get a harsh welcoming as Carson Beers (assists to Trey Degraaf and Jordie Lawson @11:42) would get his first of the postseason on the power play to make it 5-0. Just under four minutes later Austin Wong (assists to Jordan Xavier and Carson Beers @11:42) would get his second of the night to the Oilers a 6-0 lead. A minute later on the power play Tanner Laderoute (assists to Nolan Thompson and Reece Soukoroff @12:52) would get his third of the series, and that would chase May from the crease. May would stop just one shot on four shots. Okotoks would outshoot Camrose 9-8 in the second and 22-15 in the hockey game.
Late in the third period, Camrose would break the shutout bid for Riley Morris. On the power play, Tate Coughlin (assists to Bryson Traptow and Matt Gervais @17:05) would put the puck past Morris to make it 7-1. Shots favored the Kodiaks 7-6 in the third but were 28-22 Okotoks in the game.
Riley Morris has been solid in the first two games making 48 saves on 51 shots. On the other side, Patrick Gora would like to forget game two but has still made 75 saves on 82 shots. Offensively Okotoks has been led by Tanner Laderoute's (3g, 2a) five points. Trey Degraaf and Austin Wong have each tallied three points. Tate Coughlin (1g, 1a) leads the Kodiaks offense. As the Kodiaks return home, they will need more offense if they hope to keep the series going beyond Sunday.
(6) Drumheller Dragons vs. (3) Calgary Canucks (Series tied 1-1)
Call game one nerves from the Canucks or veteran prowess from the Dragons but either way Drumheller would get home ice advantage back as they would take game one.
Calgary would open the scoring on the power play as Zac McNeill (assists to Ben Assad and Jordan McConnell @7:39) put a point shot behind Hunter Virostek. Just over a minute, later Tyler Kreklewich (unassisted @9:04) would beat Logan Drackett to tie the game at one. The two teams would trade several chances, but the two netminders would keep the game tied. Shots favored the Dragons 16-12.
Things slowed down in the second as the two teams would play a defensive tighter middle period and neither team was able to find the back of the net. Drumheller would outshoot Calgary 8-7 in the second and 24-19 in the hockey game.
On the power play, Joren Patenaude (assist to Chad Hurtubise @6:31) would give Drumheller their first lead of the night, and it was a lead that they would not relinquish. That line would go back to work for the Dragons when Chad Hurtubise (assists to Joren Patenaude and Tyler Kreklewich @8:49) gave the Dragons a 3-1 lead. Chad Hurtubise (unassisted @13:27) would then extend the lead to 4-1 with his second of the game. Late in the third Calgary would get the game closer with a power play goal as Ben Assad (assist to Andrew Marshall @19:48) would get his second point of the game but that was as close as the Canucks would fall 4-2. Shots favored the Canucks 20-9 in the third and 39-33 in the hockey game.
For the second straight game, the team scoring first would end up on the losing end of a 4-2 score.
An early penalty for the Canucks would put them back on their heels, and the Dragons would make them pay. Chad Hurtubise (unassisted @0:44) would score his third of the series. Calgary wouldn't take long to answer back as Dylan Williamson (assist to Coby Mack and Brayden Brown @2:18) would beat Hunter Virostek to even the game at one. Later in the second Kyler Magus (assists to Matthew Painchaud and Ben Assad @13:07) would score his first of the series to give Calgary a 2-1 lead after one. Virostek was busy making 15 saves on 17 shots in the first as the Canucks outshot Drumheller 17-6.
The Canucks would add to their lead early in the second as Zac McNeill (assists to Josh Gagne and Josh Giacomin @1:49) would beat Virostek. The two teams would trade chances with the shots favored Drumheller 13-12 in the second but were 29-19 Canucks after 40 minutes.
The Dragons would trim the Canucks lead to one early in the third as Jordan Evans (assists to Cody Young and Jordan Taupert @3:06) would get one behind Logan Drackett. On the power play, Coby Mack (unassisted @5:48) would restore Calgary's two goal lead with his second point of the series. Shots favored Drumheller 13-10 in the third but were 39-32 for the Canucks in the game.
Hunter Virostek has faced 39 shots in both games (78 total) and turned away 72 of those shots. At the other end of the ice, Logan Drackett has faced 65 shots and made 59 saves in the first two games. Chad Hurtubise (3g, a) four points leads the Dragons while Ben Assad (g, 2a) leads the Canucks offensively. Drumheller is going to need more secondary scoring if they would like to upset Calgary. For the Canucks, they will need to continue their momentum they got from game two.
(7) Olds Grizzlys vs. (2) Canmore Eagles (Grizzlys lead series 2-0)
The Canmore Eagles ran into a hot goaltender in game one as they fell 4-3 to the Olds Grizzlys.
The first period would see all kinds of scoring for the two clubs. Jared Power (assist to Landon Gross @1:22) opened the scoring early in the opening period beating Thomas Davis. It wouldn't take long for the Eagles to respond. On the power play, Brett Stewart (assists to Matt Forchuk and Logan Ferguson @3:40) would get one through Ben Giesbrecht. Back to back unassisted goals by the Grizzlys would give them a 3-1 lead. Tom Mealey (unassisted @7:44) and then James Orban (unassisted @16:24) later in the frame would put Canmore behind the eight ball. Canmore would then get a break despite being shorthanded as Matt Forchuk (assists to Logan Ferguson and Brett Stewart @17:56) would get his second point of the series to cut the deficit to 3-2 after one. Shots were 16-6 for the Eagles.
The two teams would trade chances in the second, but neither would be able to find the back of the net. Shots once again favored the Eagles 16-11 in the second and 32-17 in the hockey game.
Like the Kodiaks, the Grizzlys wouldn't get a lot of opportunities in the third period but one they did get was on the power play, and Jared Power (assist to Quentin Greenwood @9:35) would give Olds back their two goal lead. Canmore would push to get back into the game, and Logan Ferguson (assists to Matt Forchuk and Braden Saretsky @13:12) would poke the puck behind Ben Giesbrecht to make it 4-3. Despite a huge push from the Eagles that would be as close as they would get falling 4-3 in game one. Shots heavily favored Canmore 24-4 in the third and 56-21 in the hockey game.
Once again Ben Giesbrecht was the story as the Grizzlys would take both games in Canmore and come home with a 2-0 series lead.
Both teams would exchange chances before they would exchange power play goals in the opening frame. First Chase Olsen (unassisted @16:16) would give Olds a 1-0 lead. In the dying seconds of the first Braden Saretsky (assists to Jarell Pinchuk and Matt Forchuk @19:34) would even the game at one. Shots favored Canmore 16-10 in the first.
Canmore would get their first lead of the series early in the second frame. Braden Saretsky (assists to Logan Ferguson and Jarell Pinchuk @3:22) would get his second of the night and fourth of the series to make it 2-1 Eagles. Midway through the second Joel Ray (assists to Jared Power and Chase Olsen @11:58) would notch his first goal of the postseason to tie the game at two. Late in the second on the power play Landon Gross (assists to Try Thompson and Jared Power @17:20) would get his second point of the series to give the Grizzlys a 3-2 lead. Shots favored Canmore 19-9 in the second and 35-19 in the hockey game.
The Eagles would push for the tying goal in the third but were unable to find a way to beat Ben Giesbrecht as the Grizzlys would hold on for a 3-2 victory. Shots favored the Eagles 24-9 in the third and 59-28 in the hockey game.
Ben Giesbrecht was the story in both games one and two as he has made 110 saves on 115 shots to this point. Thomas Davis got the start in game one making 17 saves on 21 shots while Ryan Bontorin made 25 saves on 28 shots in game two. Matt Forchuk and Logan Ferguson (g, 3a) lead the Eagles offense through two games with four points. Jared Power (2g, 2a) four points has led the Grizzlys offense through the first two games. If the Eagles want to continue this series through Sunday, they will have to find a way to cool off Ben Giesbrecht. As for the Grizzlys if they can continue to limit scoring punch from the top line for the Eagles they should be able to pull off the upset and advance to the South semi-finals.
2017 Gas Drive AJHL Playoffs – Bracket
2017 Gas Drive AJHL Playoffs – Schedule
North Division Preview
South Division Preview
Story by Chris Colwell @Cjcolwell