Friday, December 19, 2008

Versatile Oiler Quinn Sproule made mark at Mac’s

You can find some gems at the biggest Midget hockey tournament in Canada.

Quinn Sproule, a first-year defenceman with the Okotoks Junior A Oilers, had his stock shoot up considerably after his performance with the UFA Midget AAA Bisons at the Mac’s Midget Hockey tournament last December.

He caught the eye of Oilers’ director of scouting Jay Magnussen.
“I was named a second-team all-star at the Mac’s,” the 18-year-old Sproule said. “The Oilers saw me there and I talked to Jay and Dan (Oilers coach-GM Dan MacDonald) afterwards and that’s where it started.”

The UFA Bisons lost in the semifinals at last year’s Mac’s tournament. Oiler forward Corban Knight, who also played for the Bisons last year, was named the Mac’s MVP last season.

Sproule was approached by teams from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League — one of which wanted him to join the club right away. However, the Okotoks Oilers fit his plans for the future.

“I didn’t want to lose my eligibility for a U.S. scholarship (by playing major junior),” Sproule said. “Okotoks also showed more interest in me and it’s been a good fit.”

So far, Sproule has fit in nicely wherever the Oilers have put him. He had been playing forward until three weeks ago sometimes as a member of the Bison line with Knight and Brandon Hoogenboom.

He is now partnered with with Nicholas Bell on the blueline.

“We have some good chemistry going — we seem to know where each other is going to be,” Sproule said of his partner. “I would say I am an offensive-defenceman for sure. I like to move the puck.

“But Dan has worked with me on my play in my own end and I think I have improved it a lot. I’m finishing the body and stuff, so it’s good to have that aspect of the game too.”

Sproule has nine goals and 14 assists in 40 games with the Oilers.
He admits playing a 62-game schedule in the Alberta Junior Hockey League is an adjustment, but it is a challenge he feels he is up too.

He said coach Dan MacDonald has a good plan in place to keep the first-year players fit for the longer season.

Dan and our coaching staff has done a good job of giving us a day off, but making sure we are in good shape,” Sproule said, “but it will be nice to have the Christmas break.”

said while the Mac’s might have been the first time they had talked to Sproule, he was on the team’s radar prior to the tourney.
MacDonald said Sproule’s been the ultimate team player willing to play both forward and defence.

“Some guys might say: ‘There are scouts out there and I’m a defenceman, I don’t want to play forward, but he plays where we need him,” MacDonald said.
Sproule’s versatility is a benefit, particularly when the team has plenty of injuries or players in the penalty box, he said.

By Bruce Campbell
Sports Editor, Western Wheel

Monday, December 15, 2008

Oiler Corbin Knight leaves rejection in past

Corbin Knight has grown into a coveted junior hockey prospect.

A disappointment, at the time, turned into one of the best things that could have happened to Corban Knight.

At age 14 and playing 'AA' bantam hockey with the Nanton-based Foothills Bisons, the High River product was passed over during his Western Hockey League draft year.

But four years later, carrying the potential to ink an NCAA scholarship and be drafted to the National Hockey League, the Okotoks Oilers leading scorer couldn't be happier.

"Everything's worked out fine," said Knight, 18,who has 21 goals and 35 points in 38 Alberta Junior Hockey League games. "I look back on it and it would have been a cool experience.

"When I was in bantam, you always think the Calgary Hitmen are pretty big and when you go and watch them, you think that is the only way into the NHL. But as time went on, you realize the AJHL is a great feeder program."

After playing a handful of games for the Oilers during last year's AJHL playoff run, Knight made the full-time jump from the midget 'AAA'Strathmore-based UFA Bisons in the fall.

Depending on how the year pans out, he'll decided whether he wants to head south to school--he's currently looking into the University of North Dakota and University of Massachusetts--or stay with the Oilers.

"It's obviously a big year," said Knight. It's my draft year and my big goal is to get an NCAA scholarship, those are two big things on my mind.

"I worked really hard in the summer to get where I am now. I think with all that, I was ready to make the step to the AJ. As long as I stay focused on the team and short-term goals, the long-term goals will fall into place."

Now standing six-feet tall and weighing in at 185-pounds, he could go in the third to fifth round of the upcoming NHL entry draft along with fellow Okotoks Oiler, Rodger Craig, according to the fall's preliminary NHL Central Scouting report.

"He's going to be a strong kid when he's done, he's still growing,"said Oilers head coach Dan MacDonald. "He'll end up to be six-one and about 195-pounds, I suspect, in a year or two."

And as for the rest of the Oilers, there is a good explanation to why they're leading the AJHL's South Division.

Aside from Knight's contributions, Okotoks have four lines that could score on any given night while their defence adds depth and has no trouble stepping up either.

Rounded out by stellar performances from rookie goaltenders Sean Cahill and Steve Papciak, the team was 25-12-1--and 9-1 in their last 10 games--going into this weekend's action.

Not too bad for a bunch of rookies.

"We have 15 new players to the league this year," said MacDonald. "We really have players who are stepping forward and making progress, especially in this last month.

"It takes about six weeks to get adjusted to the league and now they're starting to take off."

Oilers captain Justin Daigle, an offensive defenceman, has been leading from the blueline and racked up five goals and 22 points before the weekend.

By Kristen Odland
Calgary Herald

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Feisty Oiler Kyle Reynolds putting the puck in the net

An Okotoks Junior A Oiler has found the third time is a charm.
Kyle Reynolds, 18, signed with the Oilers as a 15-year-old Midget. After two previous attempts to make the team, the Sylvan Lake native finally made the cut this fall.

“When I was 15, I came to spring camp and then signed when Garry (VanHereweghe) was the coach,” Reynolds said. “When I was 16, I didn’t have a very good training camp and I was cut. Last year, I was one of the last forwards before I got cut.”

He has made the cut and more this season. Reynolds was third on the team in scoring with 10 goals and 17 assists after the Oilers’ 4-3 victory over the Canmore Eagles Saturday night.

Reynolds is glad he’s in Okotoks — especially playing for coach Dan MacDonald, who is a minor legend in Red Deer hockey lore.

“One of the reasons I came here is because I knew Dan was coming here, and I knew he was very successful,” Reynolds said. “He had coached the AAA Midget team in Red Deer that went to nationals a couple of times.”

Reynolds has played the last two seasons playing Midget AAA in Red Deer. He said the high quality of play in the Alberta Junior A Hockey League has forced him to adapt quickly.

“It’s faster for sure,” he said. “My passing has gotten way better since I made the jump up,” Reynolds said. “It has to be better to make it in this league.”

As for the faster speed, that’s fine with him. He said his speed is his strongest attribute. Despite being one of the smaller players at 5’9’’ and 155 pounds, Reynolds gets involved in the middle of the fray.

“He plays big,” MacDonald said. “His speed and conscientiousness makes him a real presence on the ice. “He’s a very tenacious player.”

By Bruce Campbell
sports Editor, The Western Wheel

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Rodger Craig in Prospects game.

An Okotoks Junior A Oiler knows it pays to listen to your minor league coaches. Rodger Craig, 17, has been selected to play for Team West at the 2008 Canadian Junior Hockey League Prospects Game Dec. 17 in Summerland, PEI.

“All of those guys that are going are of high calibre and it will help show me where I am at,” Craig said. “It’s also an opportunity to show scouts what kind of player I am.”

Craig had both goals for Okotoks in their 4-2 loss to the Olds Grizzlys on November 28th. at the Centennial Arena. While he’s got some scoring touch, at six-foot-four, 210 pounds Craig is a menacing force when he’s parked in front of the opposition’s goalie. He is also not afraid to throw his weight around.

“I’m a grinder-type, but I put in a couple tonight,” Craig said “I like to hit, go in the corners and get the puck out. I used to score when I was a little kid, but ever since I was a Peewee, I’ve been a grinder.”

It was while playing as a Bantam that Craig met his connection to the Okotoks Junior A Oilers, but neither he nor his connection knew it at the time.
Craig’s coach while playing Bantam AAA in Red Deer was current Oilers coach/GM Dan MacDonald. “Dan is great with personal skills development,” Craig said. “He will take you out on the ice and work on individual things before the team comes out. He will also sit down with videos and show you how to improve.”

When he was approached by Oilers’ player personnel director Garry VanHereweghe and MacDonald to play in Okotoks, he jumped at the opportunity.

The Oilers coach admitted he had his former Bantam player in the back of his mind last year. “Oh for sure,” MacDonald said. “He’s strong on the puck and he’s going to be a powerful forward for us.” He said going to the Prospects Game is a great opportunity for Craig. “It’s a great adventure to be able to showcase yourself in front of NHL scouts,” MacDonald said, adding the majority of players in the Prospects’ Game will be 17 years old.

Craig has also impressed his teammates with his soft hands — not with the puck, but with tickling the ivory.

At the Oilers’ rookie gathering, the burly forward sat down at the piano.
“I just sat down and played, did some chord progressions, a little classical,” Craig said with a laugh. “It surprised a lot of the guys.”

By Bruce Campbell
sports reporter
Western Wheel local newspaper

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Oilers forward John McInnis

It didn’t take long for Okotoks Junior A Oiler forward John McInnis to find out that he was no longer playing prep school hockey.

“My first shift with the Oilers we got scored on — it wasn’t a very good start,” said the 18-year-old McInnis. “But on my second shift, I got a goal.”

McInnis, who hails from Plymouth, Mass. (the place where American Thanksgiving got started) played hockey at Lawrence Academy in New England on a scholarship last season.

“In New England, the public schools’ hockey teams aren’t all that strong,” he said. “So if you want to play a higher level of hockey, you either have to go to a private school or the Eastern Junior Hockey League.”
Baseball is America’s national sport, but hockey isn’t too far behind in the Beantown area.

“Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin and the Boston area is where hockey is the biggest in the U.S,” McInnis said. “But in our league, the talent level dropped off after the first four or five teams.” He found out quickly that wasn’t the case in the Alberta Junior Hockey League. “The players are a lot bigger and stronger and everybody can play at a high level,” McInnis said.“In high school, there are maybe one or two lines that can play at a high level.”

He said he had another wake up call when he got checked in Fort McMurray.“This one guy hit me and I hurt my shoulder — and he was smaller than me,” McInnis said with a laugh. “I was one of the bigger guys (last year), but here it doesn’t matter — the smaller guys will give it right back.”

He already has that Western Canadian hockey toughness — he had his shoulder taped up in Fort Mac and was back on the ice to finish the game.

At six-foot-one, 195 pounds playing physical is a large part of his game. However, he does have a scoring touch. He is the second leading scorer on the Oilers with 11 goals and eight assists.“It’s a lot easier to get points when you are playing on a line with Corban Knight,” he quipped.

Oilers general manager Dan MacDonald said that McInnis brings not only size, but also speed to the team.

McInnis was discovered at a tournament in Toronto in the spring attended by the Oilers director of player personnel Garry VanHereweghe and scout Gord Jones, who operates the Black Elk Hockey School.

McInnis is settling into Okotoks and recently enjoyed watching the heroics of a fellow New Englander who did fairly well in southern Alberta.

“Yeah, I knew Doug Flutie played in Canada, but I didn’t know it was in Calgary,” he said while decked out in a Boston College t-shirt. “My mom was up here and we watched his famous Hail Mary pass on ESPN Classics.”

by Bruce Campbell, sports writer
Okotoks Western Wheel local newspaper.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Oilers forward James Bannister

By Bruce Campbell, sports writer
Okotoks Western Wheel newpaper

Okotoks Junior A Oiler forward James Bannister is tired of being a head case.
No, the affable forward isn’t a detriment in the locker room or having delusions of Stephan Dion living at 24 Sussex Drive, the 19-year-old Bannister is tired of missing games because of concussions.
Bannister missed several games at the beginning of the season with a concussion suffered on the second day of training camp. It was the sixth time he has had a concussion.
“I turned at the middle of the ice and somebody hit me — just somebody out there working hard,” Bannister said, “And because it was my sixth one, that’s why it took so long to come back.”
Bannister suffered a concussion in the playoffs last year so neither he nor the Oilers were about to take any chances when he hurt himself at training camp.
A minor concussion is like having minor surgery — it’s only minor if it’s happening to someone else.
Bannister said the concussion could cause nausea and dizzy spells and headaches from doing things as simple as reading a book, so he took his rehabilitation slowly.
“You have to wait a week being symptom-free and then you can start doing stages of things,” Bannister said. “If your symptoms come back during any of those steps, you have to wait another week.”
He started with a 15-minute bike ride, before slowly getting back on the ice.
His first game was Oct. 2, a 6-0 Oilers’ victory in which he got a goal and an assist.
He said despite his injury history he doesn’t step on the ice worrying about the possibility of a concussion.
Dan MacDonald, Okotoks coach and general manager, said Bannister has played with a high-impact helmet since returning to the line-up. As well, he had to be cleared by the Oilers’ team physician Dr. Simon James and then a concussion specialist before being allowed to play.
Bannister has had bad luck this season. Shortly after returning to the Oilers’ lineup, he suffered a shoulder injury and twisted his knee in a recent game. He didn’t miss a game due to the knee injury.
“Our trainer always says to me that I’m always down because I am injured so much,” he said. “This time I am staying positive, iced my knee and got ready.”
When he’s in the line-up he’s a bolt of energy for the team.
He provided a scoring surge for the Oilers two years ago as an affiliated Midget by scoring some big goals for Okotoks when they beat the Brooks Bandits in the playoffs. Bannister had 16 goals and 18 assists in 46 games last year.
He has four goals and an assist in the eight games he’s played this year. He’s playing on a high-scoring line with Kyle Reynolds and Brandon Hoogenboom.

The Oilers sit in fourth-place in the AJHL Southern Conference with a 15-11 record.
They are in Brooks Saturday to take on the Bandits before heading to Calgary for another tilt with the Canucks on Tuesday.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Injury stops Derek Rodwell from playing with Team Canada

After playing a couple of warm-up games with the Team Canada Junior team, Derek Rodwell could not carry on and had to pullout of this years Team Canada Juniors tournament with an injury.
There is a good story on Derek on the AJHL website, and we have copied it over to the Okotoks Oilers website.
Derek actually sustained the injury a few games before the tournament started, but thought he had sufficently recovered to play.
Tough break Derek, but get healthy and come back to help the Okotoks teams soon.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Oilers NHL prospects

NHL Central Scouting have 2 of our Oilers listed as 'B' rated. A 'B' rated player is a player for the scouts to note if they are in the area, a potential selection in the third to fifth round draft selection in the upcoming NHL Entry Draft. The 2 players are Rodger Craig and Corbin Knight.

Camrose has the only A rated player, A must see player who is predicted to be a potential First or Second Round Draft selection in the upcoming NHL Entry Draft. That player is Dylan Olsen.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Oilers slipping

After losing 2 games this weekend to so called weaker teams in the Northern Division of the AJHL, we find ourselves in third place in the Southern Division. Drumheller has jumped 5 points ahead of the Okotoks Oilers and the Calgary Canucks who have allowed the fewest number of goals in the entire league are 3 points ahead.And don't look behind us or you will see Brooks on our doorstep (one point back) and Olds right behind them.

So does the standing really matter? Probably not. At least not at this time of year. Only one team misses the playoffs and we all know that it will be the Calgary Royals.

The important thing is to get consistency during the year and the Oilers do not have it now. Winning only 1 game in the past 7 proves that. Sure, injuries have a bit to do with that. But when I listen to away games, I just don't hear things like "a great pass by Hudkins" or "a great rush by Daigle". Right now it's "an errant pass by.." or " a give away by..." .

The Oilers have to pull up their socks and find their offense again, and the defence have to get the puck out of the zone more quickly or this could be a long season.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Derek Rodwell choosen to play for Team Canada West

Okotoks Oilers Derek Rodwell has been selected to play for Team Canada West in the 2008 World Junior A Challenge in Camrose, Alberta this November.

Team Canada West General Manager Leonard Strandberg, Head Coach Boris Rybalka and the selection team selected Derek Rodwell, the Okotoks Oiler forward from 40 hopefulls that included Oilers goalie Sean Cahill, Forward James Bannister and Forward Corbin Knight.

It certainly is a high honor to be selected to try out for your country like these 4 Oilers did, but to be selected to the team like Derek Rodwell was is a dream come true for any Canadian hockey player.

The team is made up of players from the BCHL, AJHL, SJHL, and MJHL. The competition was tough and we can be proud of these guys for their early season accomplishments. What an honor for Derek and the Oilers!

Congratulations from your team, your family, your friends and your fans.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

PIM leaders

Pim leaders:

1 Trent Colberg - Drumheller Dragons - 101
2 Curtis deBruyn - Olds Grizzlys - 85
3 Justin Lutz - Brooks Bandits - 74
4 Greg Hennessey - Bonnyville Pontiacs - 63
5 Bradley Drobot - Calgary Royals - 62
6 Jesse Hudkins - Okotoks Oilers - 61
7 Darcy Osmond - Olds Grizzlys - 61
8 Trevor Smyth - Drumheller Dragons - 60
9 Cam Dion - Camrose Kodiaks - 59
10 Corey Campbell - Olds Grizzlys - 58
11 Wyatt Hamilton - Camrose Kodiaks - 54
12 Andrew MacWilliam - Camrose Kodiaks - 54
13 Brance Orban - Olds Grizzlys - 52
14 Shadoe Stoodley - Olds Grizzlys - 52
15 Jeremy Beirnes - Camrose Kodiaks - 51
16 Darren Kramer - Grande Prairie Storm - 50
17 Kyle Fehr - Drumheller Dragons - 49
18 Kyle Miller - Camrose Kodiaks - 49
19 Erik Toews - Brooks Bandits - 48
20 Thomas Stachiw - Calgary Royals - 48

Only 2 guys from the Northern Division. What gives....

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Four Oilers selected to attend evaluation camp.

Hockey Canada, in conjunction with the Alberta Junior Hockey League, announced today the 40-man roster of AJHL Players invited to attend a one-day evaluation camp in preparation for the 2008 World Junior A Challenge.

Congratulations to the following Oilers to have been selected;

Team White
Goal; Sean Cahill
Forward; Derek Rodwell
Forward; James Bannister

Team Black
Forward; Corban Knight

On Monday, October 6th the Staff from Team Canada West will evaluate and select the AJHL participants who will represent Canada at the 2008 World Junior A Challenge in Camrose, Alberta this November.

“The evaluation camp provides the Team Canada Staff an opportunity to evaluate talent for this year’s team as well as future teams,” said Team Canada West Head Coach Boris Rybalka. “This is the first time we will have a chance to evaluate all of the prospects as they compete against one another.”

The forty selected AJHL Players will have a second chance to impress the Scouts following the 2008 AJHL Showcase Weekend. “The players invited to camp will have the opportunity to showcase their talent to Team Canada Staff as well as a number of NHL Scouts in attendance. We anticipate several scouts from the NHL and NCAA will attend the camp to get a first-hand look at these highly scouted players competing together,” added Rybalka.

To assist in a more thorough player evaluation process for the World Junior A Challenge both Team Canada West and Team Canada East are conducting prospect camps. The one-day camp for Team West will include two early morning ice sessions followed by a game in the afternoon at the Sherwood Park Arena in Sherwood Park, Alberta.

A new nemisis

So it looks like the Calgary Canucks are becoming quite the thorn in our side. They seem to have our number this season as they defeated us 4-1 on Friday. They now hold the season series lead of 2 games to 1.

Good to see a couple of of our injured players coming back on Thursday against the Camrose Kodiaks and both getting points. Cody Dion gets an assist and James Bannister gets a goal and an assist. We still have Justin Daigle out with a concussion.

Now lets all go and enjoy the weekend.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Oilers down the Kodiaks.

I won't go into the game reviews here anymore. They are available on the Okotoks Oilers website. I will rant and rave though, something that I can't do on the Oilers site.

There were 14 penalties called against the Camrose Kodiaks last night, compared to 9 against our Oilers. Looks and sounds like the Kodiaks were getting beat to the puck and the D were getting beat quite often causing the Camrose team to take the penalities. Give the Oilers credit for there perserverance of drive and pressuring the Kodiaks into these penalities.

Our guys are playing extremely well right now. Everyone is chipping in and the scoring and defense are working great. Every win is important, but wins against specific teams like the Kodiaks are a little sweeter.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Oilers demolish the Calgary Royals

The Okotoks Oilers improved their away record this year to 5-1 as they crushed the Calgary Royals 9-2 at the Father David Bauer Arena in Calgary on Tuesday night.

The Oilers were coming off a five day break in their schedule and they showed the Royals they were ready to play from the opening whistle.

The first period saw the Oilers get the only goal, a PP goal by Tyler Matthews, his first of the year from Cody Dion. The shots on goal flattered the Royals 8-8. Score after 1 was Oilers 1, Royals 0.

The second period saw the Oilers pour on the pressure by outshooting the Calgary team 22-8 and outscoring the Royals 3-2 on all even strength goals. Kyle Reynolds with his first, Cody Dion with his second of the season and Chris Duszynski with his third of the year tallied for the Oilers in a period where the Oilers kept attacking and showed good speed. Score after two, Oilers 4 Royals 2.

The Oilers continued the onslaught in the third with 5 straight goals starting with Corbin Knight's 9th goal of the season followed by Derek Rodwell's 6 goal of the year with a PP goal. Two more goals by Tyler Matthews within 23 seconds of each other gives him the hat trick. Andrew Singerhouse closed out the scoring with his 3rd of the year. Final shots on goal were Oilers 43, Royals 20 and the final score was 9-2. Oilers were 2 for 11 on the powerplay and the Royals were 1 for 9.

The Okotoks star of the game was Chris Duszynski with 1 goal and 3 assists. Oilers goaltender Steve Papciak (3-0) gets the win.

So the Okotoks Oilers head up to Sherwood Park for the AJHL Showcase this Thursday and Friday. Two games, one away (Kodiaks) and one home (Canucks) to show the many scouts in attendance what great players are in this league.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Oilers' new crew grooving early on

Dan MacDonald wasn't sure what to think before the Alberta Junior Hockey League season opened.

The coach of the Okotoks Oilers was looking at a rookie-laden lineup and a big hole in net left by most valuable player and all-star goaltender Brad Eidsness.

Well, three weeks in, the Oilers are sitting on top of the South Division and MacDonald still has that rookie-heavy cast of troops and still isn't sure what to expect the rest of the way. But, needless to say, he's pleasantly pleased.

"Though we've had success, it's hard to say where we are," he said, as his team moved into a week-long layoff after the first nine games. "We're still looking at those wins like 9-8, 7-5 . . . those sorts of things so we're still finding our way.

"We're happy with it, no doubt. The players are working hard and that's the biggest thing. We're not a finesse team or a team that's system strong. We're just strong working kids."

The Oilers are making do with a dozen rookies, a couple new goalies, a handful of strong character veterans and a half-dozen U.S. players who have proven to be a real asset.

Six U.S. colleges, at the urging of former Oilers coach and director of player personnel Gary Van Hereweghe, staged a prospects camp in Okotoks prior to the start of the AJHL season.

"That was really beneficial because those American kids came up and they stayed . . . they just stayed," said MacDonald. "We've been very fortunate . . . it was a good bonus for us."

What the Oilers landed out of the deal was 18-year-old goalie Steve Papciak, a couple of solid defencemen in Tyler Matthews and Scott Keeven and strong forwards in John McInnis, Andy Singhouse and Cody Dion, who has been out since suffering an injury in the third game.

All of them have either come out of U.S. high school or midget hockey programs.

"One of the biggest things they've had to adjust to is the hitting and they don't fight there at all so they're learning that part of it," said MacDonald. "They also wear full masks in high school and in college but they're here for the same reason as the other guys . . . they want to get a scholarship and further their hockey career."

Corban Knight sits atop the club's offensive stats with eight goals and a couple of assists, while veteran defenceman Brandon Hoogenboom has eight points (three goals). McInnis is in with five goals among seven points, while veteran Jesse Hudkins has two goals in his seven points plus a team-leading 48 penalty minutes.

Sean Cahill has put up the best numbers in the crease with three wins in four starts, a 1.76 goals-against average and a heady .930 save percentage. Papciak has a 3.50 GAA in two games. Braley Torris was the third goaltender but has been released.

"We think our goaltending has been good," said MacDonald. "They're young guys but we think they're going to be good."

Asked if there are any pleasant surprises among his cast of rookies, MacDonald quickly answered there were "quite a few. But the other side of it is we've had some real good leadership from the veterans . . . guys like Jesse Hudkins, Justin Daigle, James Bannister, Hoogenboom, (Chris) Duszynski. They're doing a real good job."

You'd have to think the Oilers are only going to get better as they build chemistry and learn to play with each other.

"We have lots of work to do yet," acknowledged MacDonald. "We feel fortunate we have this start. It's easier to win now than it is in February when everyone is playing for spots so, right now, we're crossing our fingers.

"We've made a lot of mistakes and that's why we've given up a lot of goals. We have to shore that up and learn how to play defence better but we're really going hard to the net and if you do that, you're usually going to have some success."

John Down, Calgary Herald
Published: Sunday, September 28, 2008

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Oilers make 2 trades.

The Oilers made a couple of trades on Friday, September 26/08;

Braely Torris (1989) Goaltender, was traded to the Drayton Valley Thunder and Johnathon Sonntag (1990) D/F, was traded to the Lloydminister Bobcats. Both trades were for future considerations.

The team now has a total of 21 players including goaltenders Steve Papciak and Sean Cahill.


Jesse Hudkins to play for Yale in 2009

An Okotoks Junior A Oiler’s bulldog-like tenaciousness has helped earn him a scholarship to a top U.S. school. Jesse Hudkins, a six-foot-one, 200-pound defenceman, has accepted a scholarship with Yale University for the 2009-10 season after losing an opportunity to attend another Ivy League school, Princeton.
“It was disappointing,” Hudkins said, who was turned down by Princeton because he does not speak a second language. “I thought it was a go for a few months. This is a great opportunity, I am really excited about it.”
Hudkins tried out for the Yale Bulldogs assistant coach Kyle Wallack this July in Calgary.

“It was just a one ice-time deal and I guess he liked what he saw,” Hudkins said.
While Hudkins is a rugged defenceman with a scoring touch, you don’t go to Yale just because you have a hard shot from the point — you have to practically be able to explain the physics about the speed and trajectory of the puck coming off the stick.
Hudkins scored a whopping 1,900 on the Student Aptitude Tests out of 2,400 — Ivy League material.

The Central Memorial High School graduate said he’s always been able to combine hitting the books with playing hockey. He plans to take environmental engineering at the elite school in New Haven, Conn.

“It’s someone who engineer projects to better our effects on the environment,” Hudkins said. “I read a few books, (most notably) A Short History of Progress that changed my perspective on things on how we impact the world and what we are doing.”
Hudkins expects to be used on the blueline for the Bulldogs. So far this season he has been on defence exclusively for the Oilers but last season saw a lot of time at forward when the team had a plethora of talented defencemen.

“I will be a defenceman at Yale,” Hudkins said. “He (Wallack) liked the way I was able to jump up into the play and then go back and play defence.”
Oilers coach Dan MacDonald feels Hudkins benefited from playing forward for part of last year, and he is a force from the blueline offensively for Okotoks this season.
He’s proud of the third-year Oiler.

“This isn’t just another college — this is Yale, one of the top schools in North America, they have a few more presidents than Princeton,” MacDonald said. “It’s a real feather in his cap.”

He said Hudkins is a solid person who is dedicated to whatever he does.
Hudkins stressed he will be busy as he combines playing NCAA# Division I hockey (the Bulldogs play in the Eastern College Athletic Conference) with studying at a school that has produced three U.S. presidents (William Taft, George H. Bush and George W. Bush). A fact that doesn’t intimidate him. “I don’t plan to be the president,” he said with a laugh.

By Bruce Campbell
sports reporter
The Western Wheel

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Oilers defeat Canucks

The Okotoks Oilers evened the season series with the Calgary Canucks on Wednesday, as the visitors defeated the Canucks 3-2 before a sparce crowd of 235.

The game had good flow to it and featured good crisp passes on both sides. The Oilers had 2 powerplay opportunities in the first but failed to score. Outshooting the hometeam by a 7-4 margin, the period ends a scoreless tie.

The play opened up a little bit in the second. The Oilers Jeff Barrett comes off the ice holding his shoulder and gets treatment from the trainer, then goes back on the ice and scores a powerplay goal. Six minutes later, Okotoks leading goal scorer and pointgetter Corban Knight also scores on the PP. The Oilers then run into a little bit of penalty problems and the Canucks score while having the two man advantage. Andrew Singerhouse scores the Oilers only even strength goal with 4 minutes left in the period. Score after 2 is 3-1 Oilers.

Okotoks starts the third period down a defenceman with Jeff Barrett in the stands, nursing a sore shoulder. The Calgary Canucks come on strong, but great goaltending from the Okotoks game star Sean Cahill keeps the score the same until the Canucks leading goal and point getter Matt Mackay scores with 1:14 left in the game, but thats as close as they come. The Calgary team outshots the Oilers 13-4 in the third, but the final score is Oilers 3, Canucks 2.

The win keeps the Oilers in first place in the Southern Division, up by 4 points on the Calgary Canucks. The guys get some time off as the next game is with the Calgary Royals, Tuesday, September 30 at the Father David Bauer Arena.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Oilers win a shootout

The Okotoks Oilers last shot on goal went in the net to defeat the high scoring Spruce Grove Saints 9-8 on Sunday afternoon in Okotoks. The Saints were coming off a 3 game in 3 day trip to Southern Alberta and should have been ripe for the picking, but these guys showed why they are the highest scoring team in the league.

Leading the Oilers was Quinn Sproule, scoring 2 goals for the second straight game and chipping in one assist. John McInnis also had 2 goals for the hometown heros, as singles went to Nicholas Bell, Jeff Barrett with his first of the season, Chris Duszynski, Corban Knight with his team leading 7th goal and Andrew Singerhouse, also his first of the season, with the game winner at 19:51 of the third.

A very offensive first period saw the Oilers take a 4-3 lead as both teams scored 2 on the powerplay. Derek Rodwell set the tone early on as he belted an opposing player to the ice. No penalty there but referee Lance McKinnon was calling everything tonight and then some. The Saints outshot the Oilers 14-10.

The second period had both teams turn on the red light 3 times apiece as each team had one powerplay goal. Derek Rodwell got called for a phantom elbow and was tossed at the .38 second mark. A total of 18 penalties were called in the second period confusing the players and coaches even more on how the game is being called. The Spruce Grove Saints oushots the Oilers 12-9 but the Oilers lead after 2 7-6.

The scoring continues in the third. Star of the game Chris Duszynski scores at the midway point of the period to put the Oilers up 8-6, but the visitors score 2 quick ones to tie the score with 4 minutes to play. The oilers take a penalty and Spruce Grove score, but it's disallowed as the net was off. They keep pressuring, but fail to score. Then with 9 seconds left to play, Oilers Andrew Singerhouse scores his first of the season to secure the win.

Okotoks goalie Braely Torris looked a little shakey on a few goals, as did the Oilers defense, but you get these kinds of games once in awhile. I am sure coach McDonald hopes they are few and far between.

Scratches for the Okotoks Oilers were Brandon Hoogenboom, Tyler Matthews and goalie Steven Papciak from suspensions, Cody Dion, Justin Daigle and James Bannister with injuries.

The Oilers hit the road now with games on Wednesday, Sept 24 against the Calgary Canucks and the 30th against the Calgary Royals.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Now affiliated with the Okotoks Oilers website

Just a quick note to say we are now posting our game reviews directly on the official Okotoks website at;

You can find the game reviews under the "last game results" on the right hand side of the main page. Just click on summary. The latest review is there. To read past summarys (they are all there from the start of the year), scroll to the bottom of the current review and click "Click here for other Summaries".

Thanks go out to Wayne Lauinger for his support and encouragement and thanks also to Brent, the Okotoks Oilers webmaster. You should see updated content on the site regularily. We have updated the player listings and working with Brent, we have some great things going to happen at the website.

Stay tuned.

Oilers suspended

The AJHL announces the following;

September 19 - The following players have each been suspended for one (1) game as a result of being involved in a fight while one was already in progress, during a September 19, 2008 game in Brooks:

- Brooks Bandits: Erik Toews, Dave Osborne, and David Briere

- Okotoks Oilers: Steven Papciak, Tyler Matthews, and Brandon Hoogenboom

I find it ironic that Steve Papciak had no choice but to stick up for himself. It was David Briere, the Brooks goalie that skated the length of the ice to tangle with Papciak. Sure, Briere got the extra 2 minutes for leaving the crease, but it's inexcuseable for a goalie to skate down to the other end unprovoked, to start a fight. He should have gotten a 3 game suspension at least!!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Oilers win a rough one in Brooks

The Oilers defeated the Brooks Bandits on Friday night 7-5 in the unfriendly confines of the Lakeside Leisure Center in Brooks.

In a game that turned ugly at the end, the Oilers outskated and outhustle the Bandits throughout. Goalscorers for the Oilers were Quinn Sproule with 2, Nicholas Bell,Corban Knight with 2 and Derek Rodwell with 2.

The first period saw both teams exchange goals before Jesse Hudkins boards Jarret Granberg and John Stimson jumps Hudkins. Jesse throws Stimson off and he ends up hitting the ice hard, causing a massive delay while emergency personal attend to Stimson. The teams go to their dressing rooms with 9:53 to be added to the second period as the injury looks quite serious. It was reported that he did make it back from the hospital and was in the dressing room at the end of the game.

When the teams come back on the ice before the early intermission, the teams exchange PP goals before the first period offically ends. Score 2-2 after the first.

The Oilers take control in the second period, beating the slower Bandits to the puck and outworking them. They are rewarded with a shorthanded goal by Quinn Sproule that seemed to take the steam out of Brooks, and Corbin Knight's first of 2 on the night. Score 4-2 Oilers after 2.

The third period saw the Oilers continue to pressure the opposition and score 3 more, but allowing the Bandits 3 also. Tempers flared with just a 8 seconds left in the game as many fights broke out and David Briere, the Brooks goalie skated the length of the ice to take on Oilers Steve Papciak.

So the Okotoks team grabs 2 points and head home once again tied for first in the Southern Division with the Canucks, who lost tonight.

Next up is a home game on Sunday afternoon against the Spruce Grove Saints.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Calgary Canucks defeat Okotoks Oilers

In years gone by, a Calgary Canucks visit to the Okotoks Centennial Arena meant 2 points for the hometown boys. How times have changed. This years version of the Canucks have the offensive skills and the defensive drive to win a good chunk of their games this year.

As shown on Thursday night, these Calgary Canucks are for real. The first period was scoreless, as the Oilers failed to score on 3 powerplay chances. This was a hard hitting game as players finished off their checks to gain the advantage of puck control. Shots on goal favored the Canucks in this period 11-6. Okotoks goalie Sean Cahill made a number of good stops.

The second period is one that the Oilers would like back. The Oilers ran into their own penalty problems, and with a bad icing call and a bad interference call on Jesse Hudkins, the Canucks jumped into a 2-0 lead. The first goal was a beautiful tip in front of the net from the point, and the second was a behind the net pass out front and buried by the Canucks Krishan Kaushal. On both goals, Oilers goalie Sean Cahill did not have a chance on them. Oilers outshot the Canucks 7-5, but are down 2-0.

The third period got even rougher, as the hits kept on coming causing Justin Daigle and Canucks Mike Pao to fight. The period was quite even, both teams had PP opportunities as the Oilers outshot the Canucks 6-5, but couldn't net one tonight.
Coach McDonald pulled Cahill with 1:04 left, and with the pressure the Oilers had, produced few good chances.

Scratches tonight were James Bannister, concussion, Cody Dion, wrist and goalie Steve Papciak. Oilers star of the game was Cody Fehr.

So the Canucks sit at 5-0 this season. How long can they go before the bubble bursts? Thats why you play every game. Anything can happen. The Oilers are now 4-2, still respectable for a season start.

The Oilers are off to Brooks on Friday night. The next home game is Sunday afternoon against the Spruce Grove Saints.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Jesse Hudkins has committed to Yale University Bulldogs

The Okotoks Oilers have announced that 20 year defenceman, Jesse Hudkins, has committed to the Yale University Bulldogs, of the ECAC Hockey League for the 2009/10 season in New Haven, Ct.

Jesse played his minor hockey in Calgary, Alberta before joining the Oilers for the 2006/07 season. His hard work and dedication to the game have made him a multi-talented player with proficiency at both the forward and defense positions.

General Manager/Head Coach Dan MacDonald stated, “Jesse is a physical and skilled player, who competes with intensity every shift. His versatility gives our team tremendous depth, a luxury that will be hard to replace next year when he moves on to Yale. The Okotoks Oilers are very proud of Jesse’s accomplishment and wish him every success with his future scholastic and athletic endeavors”.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Okotoks completes a tough road trip with a loss.

The Okotoks Oilers completed their first road trip of the season on Sunday afternoon, going down to defeat 3-1 to the Sherwood Park Crusaders. This was the Oilers first loss of the young season and came after the team strung together wins in the first 2 games of this trip.

The weary Oilers were totally outshot in the first 2 periods. They did come out of the first period scoreless, but badly outshot 15-6. They ran into penalty problems in the second, taking 4 in a row and giving the Crusaders a 2 goal lead, the first of which was on the powerplay. Again, the Okotoks team were badly outshot 16-7 in the second and were probably lucky to be down by only two goals.

Sherwood Park upped their lead to 3-0 before Brandon Hoogenboom closes out the scoring by scoring shothanded. Final score 3-1. The Oilers did pick up their game in the third outshooting the Crusaders 18-8.

Okotoks goalie Braely Torris was the Oilers star of the game.

So the boys are now off until Thursday when the rejuvenated Calgary Canucks come to the Centennial Arena. Sitting with a record of 4-1 and still holding onto first place, home looks like a good place to be right now.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Okotoks Oilers down Spruce Grove Saints

The second game of this 3 game Northern road trip ended successfully as we squeaked out a 3-2 win over the Spruce Grove Saints with John McInnis netting the winner just .43 seconds into OT.

The 644 fans in attendance did not see their team lead the entire game. Okotoks's Cody Fehr opened the scoring in the offensive first period before the Saints tied it up 5 minutes later. The Oilers outshot Spruce Grove 16-13. The score end of the first was 1-1.

Derek Rodwell scored the only goal in the second, putting the Oilers ahead 2-1 after 2.

The Oilers give up their first power play goal of the year in the third after Jesse Hudkins gets sent to the box and the Saints tie up the game. We got outshot badly in this period 11-4. Score after regulation time is 2-2.

It doesn't take long in OT as the Oilers first shot on goal goes in. It's John McInnis from Brandon Hoogenboom and Jesse Hudkins.

In goal was Sean Cahill, and there were no Oilers with a multi point night. Final shots on goal was 34-28 for Saint Albert.

The Okotoks Oilers are now 2-0 on this road trip that concludes on Sunday afternoon at 2:30 against the Northern Division leaders Sherwood Park Crusaders. The season is off to a great start for the unbeaten 4-0 Oilers. A day off surely must be in the cards for Coach Dan McDonald once they get back home on Monday.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Oilers open road trip with a win.

The Oilers had a very rewarding game in Lloydminster on Friday as they skated away with a 6-2 win. Jesse Hudkins lead the way with 2 goals, Corban Knight had a goal and an assist and John McInnis had 2 assists for the night.

The first period was all Oilers as they outscored the Bobcats 2-0. Brandon Hoogenboom opened the scoring, then Jeff Barrett hit Corbin Knight with a great pass as Corbin stepped on the ice after serving a penalty and broke in alone and scored the Oilers second goal.

The second period saw Lloydminster step it up and have a good period. They actually got the first goal of the period, but Jesse Hudkins first of two took the wind out of the home team. Score 3-1 after 2.

The third period saw the Oilers get an early goal by Conrad Smith at the 18 second mark to make the game 4-1. After Lloydminster pots their second of the game, Jesse Hudkins blasted a shot that the home team argued went off the cross bar and stayed out, but the refereees said the puck was in. One more by the Oilers Daigle closed out the nights scoring. Final score 6-2 Oilers.

Steve Papciak was in goal for Okotoks making 32 saves. Lloydminster Bobcats went 0-9 on the power play.

A great way to start this 3 game Northern road swing. Next up on Saturday night will be a very tough game against the 2-0 Spruce Grove Saints.

Oilers on the road this weekend

The Okotoks Oilers have left the friendly confines of the Centennial Arena this weekend for three games against Northern Division opponents.

First up are the Lloydminster Bobcats on Friday night at 7:30. The Bobcats sit at 0-2 with only 3 goals scored this season. They should be quite hungry for their first win of the season.

On Saturday night at 7:30, the puck drops in Spruce Grove Saints. They are 2-0 this season and have scored 15 goals and have only allowed 3. This could be one tough game to win.

And on Sunday afternoon at 2:30, the Oilers tangle with the league leaders Sherwood Park Crusaders. Their 3-0 record, with 16 goals scored and 11 goals allowed, shows they have strived to be an offensive team, but maybe suffer on the defense. This could be a fans game to watch.

The Oilers are back home on Thursday, Sept 17 against the surprising and surging Calgary Canucks.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Player moves

Here are the latest announced Oiler players moves.

Oilers trade the CHA/AJHL rights of Mason Conway and Brian Doust to the Fort McMurray Oil Barons for future considerations.

Oilers trade the CHA rights of Casey Dion to the LaRonge Ice Wolves (SJHL) for future considerations.

Oilers trade the CHA/AJHL rights of Tyler Jewitt and Christopher Korpach to the Calgary Royals for future considerations.

Good luck to all.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Stats after the opening weekend

The Oilers have played only 2 games so far this season. Some teams have played 3 and even some have not played at all yet. Here are our teams leaders in some of the more important stats;

Most points 4. Corbin Knight (3G, 1A)
Most goals 3, Corbin Knight, tied with 3 others for 2nd in league.
Most assists 2, Hoogenboom, Daigle, Fehr with 2 on the team.
Oilers power play 9th in league (3 for 16)
Oilers penalty killing tied for 1st (0 for 17)
Goalie save percentage, Sean Cahill tied for 3rd .952
Goalie save percentage, Braely Torris tied for 6th .938

Interesting..ya, kind of., too early in the season.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Oilers defeat St. Albert Saints

The Okotoks Oilers have started the season with a record of 2-0 after defeating the St. Albert Steel 3-1 on Sunday afternoon in front of a crowd of about 700.

Coach Dan McDonald made a few changes from last nights line-up. In goal today was Sean Cahill who played very well, even stopping a penalty shot in the second. With 20 saves, he may just have won himself a spot on this team. Nick Bell and Jeff Barrett sat out, while Tyler Jewitt and Conrad Smith dressed this afternoon did not look out of place.

The Oilers star of the game, Chris Duszynski got the first goal but Daniel Carr of the Saints tipped in his first for the Saints first and only goal of the day. 1-1 after the first with the Oilers having an advantage of shots (12-7) and the play.

The special teams broke through in the second with Corbin Knight on the PP and Cody Dion, set up beautifully by Brandon Hoogenboom, shorthanded. Oilers goalie Sean Cahill stood his ground and stopped a penalty shot, further boosting the Oilers play for the rest of the period. Score 3-1 after 2.

No scoring in the third, and the Saints outshooting us 7-4, but the game plan this period was to dump it in and let St. Albert chase the puck down for most of the period. This was their 3rd game in 3 days, so wearing them down was the goal. The Oilers did take a few needless penalties, and at one point, was down 2 for the full 2 minutes, then 2 minutes right after that, but the penalty killers were great, most noticably Quinn Sproule, Rodger Craig, Cody Dion and the defensive corps.

So we are off to a 2-0 start. A little surprising, yes, but the season is still young. The team does look good as a team, the work ethic is there, the skill level will only improve and the heart, drive and determination has to be there every game. Are this years Oilers up for the challenge? You bet. It's going to be a great year fans. Enjoy every shift.


Saturday, September 6, 2008

Oilers start new season with a win.

The Fort McMurray Oil Barons must have thought this was going to be an easy night. Scoring with just 14 seconds gone in the game, visions of a romp surely was going through their minds.

But the Oilers came together as a team tonight with a 5-1 win helping them believe in themselves. John McInnis tied the score a few minutes later, but with a splattering of penalities in the period, both teams could not get any sustained momentum going and the period ended tied at one a piece.

The second period saw returnee Brandon Hoogenboom get the only goal on a nice set up from Corban Knight but once again, the penalties broke up any real flow to the game.

The third period our Oilers really picked up the pace outshooting the opposition 18-3 and made the Oil Barons pay the price for taking penalties as 2 of the 3 goals were on the PP.

Corban Knight with 3 points (2G,1A), Justin Daigle with 2 assists as did Cody Fehr and Hoogenboom with 1G,1A gave the Oilers enough offense to walk away with the win.

The defence tighten up after the first early goal by Ft. McMurray and Braely Torris, while not overworked, was sharp.

Jesse Hudkins was wearing the C with his new number 6 and it looked pretty good on him. Jesse has shown improved confidence in handling the puck and is taking control of the ice when he is out there. Andy Singerhouse missed a wide open net and Quinn Sproule played it smart on a line change when it would have been easy to go on the ice when the puck was right there at the gate causing a too many ice penalty. A smart move by Quinn. John McInnes had a good game, as did Derek Rodwell, Justin Daigle and Jesse Hudkins.

Next up is the Sunday afternoon game against the St. Albert Steel.

The coach speaks about the upcoming season.

After five exhibition games and just a couple of days before the season opener, Okotoks Oilers coach Dan MacDonald was still doing a little head scratching.

A force in the Alberta Junior Hockey League's South Division last season, finishing No. 2 overall, the Oilers are undergoing a relatively major makeover this season and MacDonald is still wondering how much punch his club will be able to deliver.

Goaltender Brad Eidsness, feted as the league's most valuable player, has gone off to play on a scholarship for a U.S. college and just 10 players are returning.

It's difficult to say because there's such a large turnover," said MacDonald, the team's second-year head coach, when asked to assess his team's chances.

"Really, we're still sorting things out.

"It's a pretty good group that is returning, so we're fine that way. There's good leadership, so we're happy with that. But we're still waiting to see what some guys can do."

The Oilers, who were looking to trim another player or two from the 28-man roster before tonight's season and home opener against the Fort McMurray Oil Barons, lost three of five exhibition games.

That, of course, is no big deal as you try to fit in several new pieces and sort through three goaltenders, including returnee Braely Torris.

"I think as the exhibition season progressed, our intensity and drive improved," said MacDonald, "so I think we have that . . . I think we're a good energy team."

Last season, MacDonald had to get to know a relatively veteran lineup as the first-year coach. Now he finds himself in somewhat of a similar situation as he gets to know a bunch of new faces who, by the same token, are getting to know him.

One big thing he has on his side is the leadership skills of Justin Daigle and Jesse Hudkins, the only 20-year-olds on the roster.

"I think every year is a tall order," mused MacDonald, "whether you have a veteran team or not. Most of our young guys who went to (WHL) camps are back now and we pretty much know what we're working with . . . I think half of them are Calgary kids.

"But it's still a feeling-out process, a learning process."

The Oilers tackle the Oil Barons at 7 p.m. and come right back Sunday afternoon at 1:30 to entertain St. Albert.

John Down, Calgary Herald, Septembner 6/08.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

The quest for the 2009 Enerflex Cup

Some could say the Okotoks Oilers missed their chance to hit pay dirt. All the pieces seemed to fall in place last year for one of the league’s newest franchises: a record number of wins, league MVP goalie Bradley Eidsness, a great veteran defensive core and a number of players who were natural goal scorers.

A second round playoff exit was definitely not in the cards. Now the question is how to get back to the brink with only eight returning players. “We hope we recruited well enough to move forward,” said coach Dan MacDonald.

With 14 new players, mainly picked out of the midget AAA ranks, the Oilers are sure to have a lot of overwhelmed players who will need a lot of adjusting just to make it through a 62-game schedule. Fatigue is a concern to MacDonald and it should be. To combat the weary-leg syndrome, the Oilers have taken the high road and won’t be as high-flying as they once were. Baby steps, with a grown up elbow here and there, are definitely on the menu. “Last year we were a finesse team,” said MacDonald. “We are trying to get away from that. This year it will be more of a blend (of finesse and physical play).”

Brought into the fold to help with that are two true imports. Forwards Andy Singerhouse of Minnesota and John McInnes who hails from the Boston area, are big players in the 200 pound range and will be expected to set the physical pace.

from the AJHL website

Okotoks Oilers get a mascot

The Okotoks Oilers hockey club announced they will be introducing the team’s first mascot this season. The burly Oiler will be in the stands trying to stir Okotoks hockey fans into a frenzy. The new mascot will be unveiled at the game on Oct. 10.
The club will be holding a Name the Mascot contest as well as a colouring contest to ensure the young fans have an opportunity to participate in the recruitment of the newest Oiler. Youth are encouraged to colour and propose a name for the tough-looking mascot baring an Oiler jersey, hockey pants, socks and a roughneck’s hard hat.
Let's hope this turns into a positive addition to the atmosphere of the arena and the fans.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Oilers acquire 2 players.

League release:

August 28 – The Okotoks Oilers acquire the rights of Scott Keeven and Casey Dion from the Springfield Blues (NAHL) for future considerations.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Oilers wrap up pre-season

The Okotoks Oilers closed out their 2008/2009 pre-season schedule tonight by dominating the Canmore Eagles 10-3. This makes their pre-season record 2-3.

This was their best complete effort to date as not only did they show their offensive skills, but tightened up on defense. Tyler Matthews with 2 first period PP goals and Chris Duszynski closing out the scoring with 2 in the third. Wedged in between were goals by Jesse Hudkins, John McInnes, Cody Fehr, Kyle Reynolds,Jeff Barret and Cody Dion.

Steve Papciak (We think. Sometimes the lineup sheets incorrectly state the wrong name) played the first half in goal and allowed 2 goals. Braely Torris played the last half and allowed one fluke goal.

The guys were playing all out for the full 60 minutes with few let-ups. The final shots on goal were 47-21 favoring the Oilers.

We are looking forward to the start of the regular season on Saturday night, and to see the final line-up the Oilers will start the season with. If tonights game is any indication, it could be a great season. Lets hope so.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Oiler drop 2 to the Calgary Canucks

This past weekend was not kind to the Okotoks Oilers, as they dropped both games of a home and home series to the resurging Calgary Canucks.

Even though the Saturdays game was not completed due to a broken pane of glass, it goes into the record books as a 4-1 win for the Canucks.

Move on to Sunday night at the Max Bell Arena. Firstly, I did not take kindly to being charged the full 12 dollar admittance fee to this pre-season game, as a few others felt also. Most teams charge a token 5 dollars to see a pre-season game, which is quite right, but to charge the full cost of a game is just being greedy. (Another case of the Canucks nickle and dimeing the fan/family).

On Sunday night, a high scoring game saw the Canucks get the better of the Oilers by a 6-4 score. The Oilers came out in the first period determined to make amends for last nights loss by jumping out to a 2-1 lead after one. Cody Dion and Mason Conway were the goal scores as we outshot the Canucks 14-4.

The second period was the complete opposite as the Canucks outshot the Oilers 13-5 and got the only goal and went to the intermission tied at 2-2. Oilers penalties cost them any momentum in this period.

The third period was a see saw affair, seeing the Canuck outscore us 4-2 and taking the game 6-4. Jesse Hudkins and Conway Mason (with his second) were our goal scorers.
Two goals were a direct result of mis-communication between our goaltender and our defenceman. Speaking of goaltending, Braely Torris has not stepped up to the plate yet in the pre-season. Sean Cahill, Steve Papciak and Andy Carmichael are all pushing Braely for the goaltending position, and they all have played quite well.

Sundays game saw Cody Dion once again play a strong game, showing his great shot, and hockey smarts. Corban Knight is still inconsistant and Andy Singerhouse is playing quite decent. 8 regulars played and 2 regulars are still sitting out account of injuries.

So the Oilers now have a 1-3 pre-season record with one game remaining on Tuesday night at home against the Canmore Eagles.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Okotoks Oilers/Calgary Canucks be continued

The Oilers third pre-season game was started, but not finished on Saturday night at the Centennial Arena in Okotoks. Going into this game, the 1-1 Oilers were looking to build on their 8-1 shellacking of the Olds Grizzlies on Wednesday.
I thought our guys looked quite spunky and skating well in the first period. With only 3 veterans in the line-up (Torris,Conway and Hoogenboom) the remaining guys all showed they want to make this team. They definately held the territorial advantage as they outshot the Canucks 15-7, but were trailing 2-0.
The second started well when Brandon Hoogenboom scored with the 2 man advantage, but the fiesty Canucks got another later in the period to go to the dressing room after the second up 3-1. Again, I though the Oilers deserved a much better fate as the determination was still there to win this game.
The third period saw the Canucks take a 4-1 lead when with 7:08 left in the game,an Oiler (I missed who it was) coming down the left wing skated over the oppositions blue line and gets checked into the boards. His skate comes up and hits the glass and that pane of glass shatters. After a 25 minute delay, they announce the game will be continued at 5:30 tomorrow night at Max Bell.
I thought that some Oilers showed they could have what it takes to play in this league. Nick Bell, Cody Dion, Andy Singerhouse all had moments in the game.
So it's off to Max Bell on Sunday night for the conclusion of this game and game four of the Oilers 2008/09 preseason.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Preseason..Oilers 8 Grizzlies 1

Our Okotoks Oilers evened their Preseason record at 1-1 with a convincing win on the road against the Olds Grizzlies. The 8-1 win was a complete offensive turnaround from the previous night when the offence was missing a step.

Looks like the first period was quite offensive, as shots on goal favored the Oilers 17-15 and us outscoring the bears 3-1. The second period was even more impressive as the Grizzlies were outshout 11-6 and outscored 4-0. The third period was just icing on the cake as we scored the final goal, and continued outshooting the opposition 14-9.

Not too sure if or how many of the veterans played, but the offensive burst came at a time when the new players are trying to impress the coaching staff.

Next up is this Saturday at home against the Canucks.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Preseason..Grizzlies 3 Oilers 1

The first preseason game was played on Tuesday night with the Oilers coming up short in losing 3-1 to the Olds Grizzlies. The score was very flattering to our boys, who got outshot 37-14.

A line-up of unfamiliar names could not keep up to the opposition as they skated circles around the Oilers for most of the night. Our goaltenders Alex Wakaluk and Andy Carmichael played very well.

Penalities really kept us from sustaining any real pressure on Olds. With Olds scoring one on the PP, one shorthanded and one even strength, Oilers forward Doug Lindensmith scored from the right circle on a great shot.

Next, the Oilers travel to Olds for a return match, and possibly a tougher line-up on Wednesday night, then it's a home and home series against the Calgary Canucks this weekend. Next home preseason game is this Saturday against the Canucks.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Intersquad (Top Prospect) game, Sunday, August 24

The Okotoks Oilers held their Intersquad game on Sunday, August 24. Forty players, broken evenly into the white and black teams played a quick, spirited game.
The white team was manned with Jesse Hudkins and Derek Rodwell and 18 hopefuls against the black team that had veterans Braely Torris, Justin Daigle, Mason Conway, Chris Duszynski and Brandon Hoogenboom.

The fast paced game was played in 2 hours, with a few minor penalties called and little pushing, shoving or roughness. Even though I am far from a knowledgable scout, I though some new kids played quite well. Standing out to me were rookies Cody Dion, Daniel Hrabowych and Sohkes Auger. Both Jesse Hudkins and Chris Duszynski stood out for the returnees, along with all 4 goaltenders.

Two walking wounded watched the game from the stands, James Bannister (concussion) and Brian Doust (shoulder).

Oh yes, for what it's worth, the White team won by a score of 3-1.

Next up is the start of the pre-season with the Olds Grizzlies here on Tuesday night.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Upcoming exhibition games

The Oilers exhibition games are NOT part of the season ticket package. Tickets for the exhibition games will be $5.00 per person, $2.00 per child 8 – 12 yrs, 7 and under will be free.


Tuesday August 26th vs. Olds Grizzlys @ 7:00 pm

Saturday August 30th vs. Calgary Canucks @ 7:00 pm

Tuesday September 2nd vs. Canmore Eagles @ 7:00 pm

The seasons tickets have been ordered and should be in later next week. Dawn will email you when they are in.

Intersquad game, Sunday, August 24

Come have your first peek at the new look 2008/09 Okotoks Oilers on Sunday, August 24 at 1 p.m. at the Centennial Arena in Okotoks as the Oilers play their intersquad game.
Not too sure if they are charging admittance or if it's a free game, but its our initial chance to see the future of our hockey team.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Players to watch.. Tyler Matthews

August 12 – The Okotoks Oilers acquire the rights of Tyler Matthews from the Marquette Rangers (NAHL) for future considerations. Tyler is from Buffalo, NY and is a 5'11", 185lb defenceman born April 11 1989.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Training camp starts

Training camp has opened for the 2008/2009 season for the Okotoks Oilers on Thursday, August 21. Ninety players are expected to attend.
The Oilers will have a new look to them this year as only 10 players are returning to camp from the 2007-08 squad. They are Corban Knight, Chris Duszynski, Derek Rodwell, James Bannister, Brandon Hoogenboom, Justin Daigle, Brian Doust, Mason Conway, Jesse Hudkins, and goalie Braely Torris.
Michael Snider, who backstopped the UFA Bisons last year, is vying for one of the Oilers’ goalie positions. Some of the other players to watch for include Cody Ellerby, Corey Kapeller and Sam Prpich.

Dan Conacher moves on.

The Oilers announce that forward Dan Conacher has been released so he could play with the Fargo Force of the United States Hockey League. Dan had 4 goals and 9 assists and 24 minutes in penalities in 29 games last year. We wish him the best of luck, and if it happens to not work out, there is a radio broadcasting job for you up here :)

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Training camp opens Aug. 21st.

Yes, It' that time of year to shift our thoughts from summer to hockey. Training camps open in the next few weeks for the teams in the AJHL and our Okotoks Oilers start theirs on Thursday August 21/08 in preparation of the pre-season commencing on August 26 at home.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Corbin Gavin traded

July 29 – The Okotoks Oilers trade the AJHL/CHA rights of Corbin Gavin to the Lloydminster Bobcats for future considerations THEN...

July 31 - The Lloydminster Bobcats trade the AJHL/CHA rights of Ian McAllister and Corbin Gavin to the Grade Prairie Storm for the AJHL/CHA rights of Mackenzie Caron, completion of the Meyers deal and future considerations.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Oilers schedule released

While it is presently the middle of summer, we notice the 2008/2009 season schedule has been released. Three (3) home exhibition games run August 26 against the Olds Grizzlies, August 30th against the Calgary Canucks and September 2 against the Canmore Eagles.
Regular season play starts with 2 games at home, on Saturday, September 6 vs. Fort McMurray Oil Barons and Sunday, September 7th against St. Albert Steel.

Also hear that Jesse Hudkins is returning. It was earlier reported that he was leaving for Prinston, but a language change in the schools requirements were changed at the last moment. Good to have Jesse here for another season.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Leinweber goes to Alaska

The Okotoks Oilers are pleased to announce that 19 year old forward/defensemen Curtis Leinweber has committed to the University of Alaska Seawolves of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, in Anchorage, Alaska, for the 2008/09 season.

Curtis is from Calgary, Alberta and is a graduate of Calgary’s Edge School of Athletes. Curtis completed his second season as an Oiler and was known throughout the Alberta Junior Hockey League for his exceptional offensive abilities, accumulating 60 points this past season as a defensemen.

The Oilers General Manager/Head Coach Dan MacDonald stated, “Curtis is a rare player who is extremely effective as a forward or a defensemen. His versatility, quiet leadership, and electrifying offensive skill will be very difficult to replace. The Okotoks Oilers Hockey Club thanks Curtis for his commitment as an Oiler over the past two years, and wishes him every success with his future academic and athletic endeavors”.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Okotoks Oilers awards awarded..

The recipients at the Okotoks Oilers Awards banquet held Sunday, April 26 were;

Most Valuable Player – Bradley Eidsness
Mr. Oiler — David Civitarese
Top Scorer — Elliott Sheen (27 G, 51A)
Most Popular — Carter Madsen
Leadership — Zac MacKinnon
Rock Solid — Kyle Schussler
Top defenceman — Jesse Perrin
Rookie of the Year — James Bannister
Most Improved Player — Chris Duszynski
Unsung Hero – Jesse Hudkins
Volunteer of the Year — Terry Pavka

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Bad weather postpones Awards banquet.

A note from Dawn;


Sincerely, Dawn LeMaistre
Office Administrator
Okotoks Oilers Jr. 'A' Hockey Club
ph: 995-2255

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Oilers awards banquet

The Oilers year end awards banquet will be held at the Lynnview Ranch on Saturday, April 19th. 6 p.m. for cocktails and 7 pm for the supper followed by the awards ceremony. Everyone welcome.

Dawn LeMaistre
Office Administrator
Okotoks Oilers Jr. '' Hockey Club
ph: (403)995-2255
fax: (403)995-2237

Thursday, March 20, 2008

We say goodbye.

When the 2006/2007 season came to an end, we said goodbye to players like Brummitt, Matheson, Owsiak, Sapieha, Schmautz and Everett Sheen. Because of these loses, it really didn't look too promising for a good 07/08 season.


The 2007/2008 regular season saw many players come into the organization and perform very good. The veterans also came through to fill the void of the departures. Now we must say goodbye and thank you to this years departures. As far as I can tell, we say adios to;

David Civitarese to Colorado College
Jesse Perrin to Western Michigan University
Kyle Schussler to Dartmouth College
Justin Daigle to University Of Alaska Fairbanks
Brad Eidsiness to University of North Dakota
Curtis Leinweber to University of Alaska Anchorage
Elliot Sheen to Merrimack College
Jesse Hudkins to Princeton University
Carter Madsen to Merrimack College

(If I have any mistakes in thsi list, please let us know)

We are looking forward to any Oilers news during the off season, and we will be there when the group of Oilers start their quest for the 2008/2009 holy grail.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Oilers go down in 5.

The round 2 series with the Drumheller Dragons in this years AJHL playoffs just wasn't good for the Oilers. They struggled to eliminate the Calgary Canucks in round 1. Now after a frustrating game 5 with Drumheller, the year is over for the Okotoks Oilers.
A 1-0 lose eliminated the Oilers in front of a season high 1475 patrons. The excitement was in the air from the pre-game warmup till the end of the game. A very questionable call early in period that saw Chris Duszynski ejected from the game and gave the Dragons a 5 minute penalty play led to the oppositions only goal of the game.
The Oilers were a step behind Drumheller all game long, and could not find the formula for scoring on this night. Both goaltenders were the stars, as once again, our top line of Sheen, Madsan and Civitrese couldn't find the back of the net.
So it's so long to many players. This team will have a completely different look for the 2008-2009 season.

Keep checking back here as we will continue with our OILERS blog. And who knows....we may even have an exclusive or 2 as the off season progresses.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Oilers lose pivotal game 4

Another close game, but the Oilers come out on the short stick as Drumheller defeats our Oilers 2-1. After Curtis Leinweber makes it 1-0 in the first, Drumheller ties it on the PP near the end of the period and the teams go into the second tied.
The second period was all Oilers, as we smoked the Dragons with 19 shots on goal. Brad Eisiness even stops a penalty shot, but both teams fail to score, and into the third we go.
Only 2 penalties called in the third, both to the Oilers, but the Dragons did not need the PP as they scored with about 7 minutes left in the game. We only had 4 shots on goal and were unable to sustain any pressure. Result: a 2-1 loss and down 3-1 in the series.
So it's back home on Saturday night. Take it one game at a time, and win the home game first. I for one don't want the season to end quite yet. I still have a month of hockey excitement left in me. Can the Oilers stay alive ???

Thursday, March 13, 2008

That's more like it :) Oilers win game 3

This was a pivotal game. Lose and they are down 3 games to none. Win and we are right back in it at 2 games to 1. And win they did, and they are still in this series. Carter Madson with 2 goals led the way along with the great goaltending by Brad Eisiness, stopping 33 shots. The 4-3 score was a hard fought battle with numerous scrums after the whistle. These teams don't like each other!

We did not attend the game ourselves, but listened to it on the EAGLE. Fans, you made some serious noise when we scored. Way to go! The announcer and his color man made numerous references to the team playing like a team, and not as individuals as the previous two games. That's what is going to win them the series.

The battle is far from over though. Thursdays game 4 is just as important as this game was. Your either behind the eight ball or in control. I'm sure Dan MacDonalds crew wants to be in control, coming back home on Saturday night for game 5.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Oilers dig themselves a hole...

This was suppose to be the game we came back from an ugly loss yesterday to show Drumheller the real Oilers. Instead, we showed up with some great new uniforms, but the same old, underachieving team. For the second straight game (and day) the crowd left disappointed as we went down to a 3-2 defeat.
Mind you, this game was a much better effort. Again, Brad Eidisness was a little weak on a couple of goals. He was allowing rebounds, which led directly to the Dragons breakaway third goal. The powerplay was 1 for 12 and did not get many shots on goal.
With Justin Daigle and Curtis Leinweber overhandling the puck most of the night, we still managed to outshoot the Dragons 32-25, but you win games by putting the puck behind the opposing goaltender.
Now it's off to Drumheller, and if the Oilers don't start winning soon, the series will be over on Thursday. Let's hope they can come back and show all why they finished second overall in the AJHL in the regular season.

GO OILERS GO, we are not giving up hope.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Oilers go down in game 1

The Drumheller Dragons were too much for the Oilers on Sunday afternoon as they went down to defeat 5-1. The Dragons were at their best, as they outplayed our boys in every way. Brad Eisiness looked like a normal goalie, stopping most, but letting 5 in. Our PP was not clicking, and once again shouts of "SHOOT" were hear for good cause. They overthink their plays, over-handle the puck and don't utilize the center ice area in front of nthe goal with much authority.
Give credit to Drumheller for this game. They were ready to go from the drop of the puck. Let's see if our guys can regroup and come back tomorrow night to avenge this disaster. If not, it will be a short series.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Videos are up on You Tube

There are 3 short OILERS videos up on You Tube.
The goal that wasn't from Wednesday's game in Calgary.
Jesse Hudkins second goal from the same game.
The penalty shot from Elliot Sheen against Drumheller on the last game of the regular season.
Search either hildavid or Okotoks Oilers and you will find them at

Stuff like injuries, videos...

With the first round out of the way, the guys are starting to get bruised up. We had 3 regulars out of the lineup on Wednesday (Leinweber, Bannister and Doust) and hopefully 2 of them will be back in on Sunday. Playing with a few banged up parts is normal for the playoffs, but lets hope the team can stay intact to the end.

I have a few short video clips I will post to youtube this weekend. The non goal where the puck ended up in Brads pants is one of them. Just do a search for hildavid or Okotoks Oilers on

Elliot Sheen is leading all players in this years playoffs in points with 8 (3G 5A). David Civitarese is right behind Elliot with 7 (all assists). Carter Madson has one goal in each of the games against the Canucks. (2 are game winners)

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Oilers advance to round 2

The Okotoks Oilers have advanced to the second round of this years playoffs thanks to a 4-2 win over the Calgary Canucks on Wednesday night at the Max Bell Arena. Led by a 2 goal performance by the fiesty Jesse Hudkins, the Oilers were continuely beating the Canucks to the puck, strongly forechecking and showed why they finished second overall in the league this year.
The Oilers held a large territorial advantage in the first period, but the referee called a goal for the Canucks without the puck going into the net. A good shot from a Canucks player looked to hit the post and stay out of the net, but the goal light came on. As the Canucks were celebrating and going to center ice for the faceoff, Brad stormed out of his net to confront the referee that the puck was infact, caught up in his pants and did not enter the net. The ref and linesmen had a group hug, then the ref consulted the goal judge. After a lengthly chat, it was ruled a goal, but I can tell you the puck did NOT go into the net.
The boys played a good game, and with help of 3 PP goals (2 by Hudkins), the team showed they wanted to finish the series, and they did.

Next up are the Drumheller Dragons, best of seven, starting this Sunday at 1:30. Bring your bells and clappers and see ya there!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Okotoks beat the Canucks...and the refs..

A big, big win. That's what the Oilers came away with on Tuesday night at the Max Bell Arena. The Canucks were a pesky group, and with the referee on their side, gave the Oilers quite the scare.
With the Canucks up 2-1 after the first with help from a couple of 5-3 man advantages, the teams exchanged goals in the second. The teams exchanged goals again the third, then the excitement started. Carter Madson gets penalized with 3:30 left in the game and the Oilers behind by one. After a great penalty kill, Coach MacDonald pulls Brad Eidiness for the extra attacker and it pays off. Jess Perrin nets the game tying goal and we are going into overtime.

The first overtime period is a 10 minute session with the Oilers getting the upper hand but the period ends and we are going into double overtime. The period starts with our big line out and it doesn't take long. Carter gets a great rebound standing to the right of the Canucks goaltender and burys it and the celebration starts.

A tough game not just for the players but for the large number of Oiler fans at the game. The guys are not playing their best in this series, but give the Canucks credit, they are a determined bunch. We have to step it up to win Wednesday night or it's back to the Centennial Arena for game 5 on Friday. Let's hope we have taken some wind out of the Canucks sails and this OT win inspires the Oilers to play like the great team they are.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Canucks storm over the Oilers in game 2

Do I have to eat my words? OK, I did say the Canucks were a bad team. I still think they are a bad team, but on Sunday afternoon, they proved to be the better of the two. Yep, after jumping out to a well deserved 2-0 lead, the Canucks managed to hold on and defeat our boys 2-1 to tie the series at one game apiece.
The Oilers did not play as a team, and there were so many guys out for a free ride that the score could have been much worse. We did get badly outshot and outplayed. Someone has to tell the guys what time was game time.
Give the Canucks credit. They hustled and outworked the Oilers for a well deserved win. This is not going to be a 3 straight series that I for one thought it would have or should have been. We have a series here !!!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Awards for the OILERS

The AJHL have announced some league award winners and the Oilers captured 3 of them.

The most valuable player went to Brad Eidsness and wins the Alberta Old Time Hockey Players Trophy.

Kyle Schussler won the Stewy Stewart Memorial Trophy. The Stewy Stewart Memorial Trophy is awarded annually to the AJHL player in the South Division that best exhibits the following attributes: Character, Dedication, Perseverance, Integrity and Sportsmanship.

General / Manager and Head Coach Dan MacDonald of the Okotoks Oilers has been named as the 2007-08 AJHL Coach of the Year

Congratulations to everyone.

Oilers take game 1 of AJHL playoffs

The Calgary Canucks are happy. Yes, happy to have squeaked into this years playoffs. What they should realize is that just being in this years playoffs isn't enough. The Oilers gave the Canucks a lesson in work ethic on Saturday night as they took game 1 of this 5 game series 5-3. It was a game where the score is not indicative of the play. The Oilers outplayed, outhustled, outworked and outcoached this bad Canucks team. With all our regulars back in the lineup with the exception of Brian Doust, we were firing on all cylinders.
The appreciative crowd of just over 800 saw 5 different Oilers score. Now if we can just get more people out to the game to enjoy this great team, we could really rock this place.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Round One...Oilers vs. Canucks

The first round of this years playoffs begin this Saturday at home against the Calgary Canucks.
The complete dates are;
Saturday, March 1 at 7 pm and Sunday, March 2 at 1:30 at the Okotoks Centennial Arena. We then go to the Max Bell Arena and play games 3 and 4 on Tuesday, March 4th and if necessary, Wednesday March 5th. If the series goes 5 games, the deciding game will be played in Okotoks on Friday, March 7th.

Lets get out there and cheer our OILERS to a first round victory.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Season ending tie

The Okotoks Oilers played game 62 of the season on Sunday afternoon and came out with a 2-2 tie with the Drumheller Dragons.
The first game star was Braley Torris who had 50 shots and saved the game on a number of different occasions throughout the game. The Oilers had plenty of shots also (41) and the game could have gone either way.
The OT periods were most exciting, as both teams went up and down the ice and caused both goaltenders to make some great saves. The second overtime saw both teams being awarded a penalty shot due to penalties, but failed to score. A great crowd of 1163 saw an entertaining game and are looking forward to the playoffs that start at home on Saturday, March1.

Camrose goes down to defeat

After losing a heartbreaker in Camrose on Thursday night in Camrose 3-2, the Oilers will happily settle for second in the division.

A season high 1216 fans that showed up at the Okotoks Centennial Arena on Saturday night saw our beloved Oilers take down the Camrose Kodiaks 3-2 on a Chris Duszynski goal with just 38 seconds remaining in regulation time.
Spotting the Kodiaks a 2-0 lead, the Oilers kept pouring on the pressure and managed to tie the game on the PP from Dan Conacher early in the third. What looked like a game going into overtime, the crowd rose to their feet when Chris won the game on a feed from Kyle Schussler.

The Okotoks Oilers finish the regular season on Sunday afternoon against the Drumheller Dragons, then the real season starts on March 1st. Opponent still to be decided.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Royals give our boys a tough time

So today is Family Day in Alberta. Happy Family Day. And by looking at the people in attendance to the Oilers/Royals game this evening, families were everywhere. A season high 1180 spectators saw the pesty Royals take our Oilers right to the end, and with just a minute or two left in the second overtime, Elliot Sheen put the puck in the net and we came out on the 4-3 winning side of the scoreboard.
Even though the Royals did not have alot of shots during the game, they made the best of them. We were down 3-1 going into the second, when Curtis Leinweber scored a pair midway through the period to bring the game into overtime.

With Elaine and I being away on vacation, and just arriving back on Saturday night, it sure was nice to get back into the "cheering" mode. With 3 games left to play in the regular season, It looks like it might be the Canucks and the Oilers in the first round??? We will know by weeks end then bring on the REAL season.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Missing a few games . urggg!!!!!

So after our exciting second win over the Camrose Kodiaks on Tuesday night, we will be missing a few games due to a vacation cruising to Mexico. We will miss the Saturday game against the Drayton Valley Thunder and the following Saturday against Olds.
Between those two home games, the Oilers play 3 away games. I am sure the Oilers will cross our minds a few times while we sip on margaritas, but then again, maybe not :)
If we can hold our own and stay close with first place Camrose, we could have an interesting finish to the season.

Will contine with this Oilers Blog on our return. Look for new entries around Feb 17.

Oilers tame the Kodiaks once again

Who would have thought !!! If you are a diehard Oilers fan, you may have thought we had a chance to win this game. If not...then your totally surprised. The Oilers downed the Camrose team 4-3 on Tuesday night in a hard fought, hard hitting match that saw our top goal scored Carter Madsen go down with a shoulder injury.
Even without Carter, the Oilers sucked it up and gave their grittiest performance yet. Leading 1-0 after the first, and no scoring in the second, it left us all anxiously waiting the third. Camrose tied the score at the 6 minute mark, followed a minute later by David Civitrease's first of 2. Camrose once again tied it up on the PP a couple of minutes later. With David getting his second goal of the game with 8 minutes to play, it was starting to look like the game was going our way, but with Camrose tying it up a minute later, the seesaw battle continued until Derek Rodwell scores with 5 minutes left to play.
A period full of emotion with so many ups and downs, and this is still only regular season. Goes to show you how important this game was for the fans also. Now is first place for the taking??? Time will tell.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Stats, standings and stuff !!

Here's some numbers for Oilers fans;

We are;
second in the league on the power play
second in the league on penalty killing

We have;
three players in the top twenty in scoring
(Elliot Sheen at #8, David Civitarese at #18 and Carter Madsen at #20)

Carter is on a 3 game scoring streak, Elliot is on a 7 game assist streak and David is on a 17 game point streak.

Brad Eisness has the best goals against average in the league at 1.93.

We have the second most points in the league at 82. We are only 5 points behind the Camrose Kodiaks.

We are the second highest scoring team in the league. (Right behind the Fort McMurray Oil Barons).

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Bandits go down to a tired Oilers team.

Saturday night saw a tired Oilers team squeak the second win of a home and home series against the Brooks Bandits. The 4-3 win in double overtime was a hard fought contest where the Bandits were the better team on occasions. The teams were tied 1-1 after the first where the Oilers had their best period of the night.
The second period saw Brooks take it to us for most of the period, but the Oilers were fortunate to come out with a 3-3 tie. For about 3/4 of the third period, Brooks did everything except score. The Oilers showed they are playing their third game in 3 nights as the were outworked and outmuscled to the puck. They did wake up for the last 3 or 4 minutes and put pressure on the Bandits, but the period ended at the same score of the second 3-3.
The first overtime was mostly Oilers and the pressure caused the Bandits to take a penalty at the end of the extra 5 minutes. In the second overtime, the Oilers had a 4-3 man advantage and after a minute of powerplay pressure, Curtis Leinweber netted the winner.
It was a hard fought game, but they say good teams find ways of winning, and the Oilers found that little extra drive to come out victorious.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Oilers shutout the Bandits

After posting a 9-0 win last night over the Canmore Eagles, the Oilers went South to Brooks where they blanked the Bandits 5-0 on Friday night. Highlights of the game included Brad Eisness getting the shutout and David Civitrese getting one assist to extend his point streak to 16 games.

The second period was the Bandits downfall as the Oilers score 3 times. All in all, the Oilers were 4 for 5 on the PP.

The return match and Okotoks 3rd game in 3 nights goes Saturday night.

Oilers on a roll, sink the Eagles

The rescheduled game with Canmore from a few weeks ago was played last night, and while the Oilers showed up to play, the Canmore Eagles didn't. Sure, they were there in body, they went through the motions, but were no match for the overpowering Okotoks team as they went down to defeat 9-0.
Braely Torris gets the shutout, while the Sheen,Madsen,Civitrese line proves it is one of the best in the league. The entire team is playing so good now, that you have to think they have a chance to make a run for the championship this season.
Shots on goal were tied at 31 apiece, and the game wasn't as loopsided as the score would indicate. We had the goaltending and the Eagles didn't, along with poor defensive play from Canmore and uninspired play. Maybe it was all the regulars out of their lineup due to a number of reasons, but the Oilers were full value for the big win.
And with the Kodiaks losing their second straight game last night, the gap between them is closing. Could we catch them?.......mmmm time will tell..

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Quick notes from the All Star game.

Just a couple of quick ramblings on this past weekend All Star game. Even though the South lost the game, a couple of Oilers have proven they are amongst the best in the league. David Civitrese was singled out as the fastest skater in the skills competition and Elliot Sheen got the best agility recognition.

Way to go guys !!

Oilers/Eagles cancelled game rescheduled

The game between us and the Canmore Eagles that was cancelled a few Saturdays ago because of a gas leak in their arena has been rescheduled.
The game will now be played in Canmore this coming Thursday, Jan 31. This on the heels of a back to back series with the Brooks Bandits this weekend has the Oilers playing 3 games in 3 nights.

Camrose Kodiaks fall to the Oilers

On this fridgid evening, both inside and outside of the Okotoks Centennial Arena, Canada's best junior team was shown why the Oilers are a force to be reckened with. Roaring out to a 2-0 lead after 2 powerplay goals, our boys held their own and made Camrose play from behind.
Only a fluke goal by the Kodiaks into an empty net in the second period, vacated by Brad Eisness as he went behind the net to stop the puck, but the puck made it into the wide open net somehow from the right wing boards.

Brad redemped himself in the third when he stopped a penalty shop to keep the game 2-1.

It was a very entertaining game from start to finish. As Camrose pressed to get the equalizer in the third, at the end of the game their frustration showed and a skirmish started in front of the Oilers net. A great set-up for the next match between these 2 teams next Tuesday in Okotoks.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

All Star Game(s)

I am not a big fan of All Star games. Sure, I watch them, but what do they mean? I like the other activities that an All Star weekend offers. Fastest skater, most accurate shot etc. But the game itself I can do without. They are played in an enviroment that is totally unlike "normal" game conditions. The hitting, checking and intensity IS hockey. You don't see that with all the stars playing.
The AJHL saw their All Star game played Saturday, and as an Okotoks Oiler fan, I thought our guys contributed quite well. David Civitrese with a goal and 2 assists in the first period looked promising, and Elliot Sheen with a goal at the end of the second and another goal at the end of the third showed himself well.
But what does it all mean?? mmmm I'm thinking........still thinking.....

Bring on Camrose on Tuesday. That game will have the intensity, hitting and checking that is needed in this game called hockey...

Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Eagles get grounded.

The Canmore Eagles threw a scare into our boys on Thursday night, but the Oilers soared to another win. The first period was all Canmore, but we came out tied 1-1 after an early goal by Carter Madsen. We started to take control of the game in the second, but neither team could score. David Civitrese scored the winner on a powerplay in the third. Once again, Brad Eidness made some great saves throughout the game to give the Oiler the change to win.
Now it's a break for the Allstar game, and back to action next Tuesday against the Camrose Kodiaks. A long awaited match, so lets fill the Centennial Arena.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Oilers start strong, Royals finish strong....

There I was, in front of the computer, waiting for the Royals/Oilers to start. The Royals broadcast live video and chat action during their games. But tonight, the game was not broadcast. The people that were on the chat were all asking what happened, and so did I. I felt robbed and disappointed. After 3/4 of an hour waiting to see if the video was going to come on (which it never did) I switched on our local radio station "The Eagle 100.9" and low and behold, the broadcast was on the radio. So I started to blog the game on the chat and was quite enjoying myself, trying to post the major happenings. The score was 4-0 for the Oilers, beginning of the second period. Then it happened. I must be a jinx. 4-1 Oilers. Second intermission, 4-2 Oilers, 4-3 Oilers and yes, you guessed it, 4-4. Into overtime. OT1 no scoring but Chris Duszynski takes a penalty and it carries into OT2 and yep, the Royals score and win in OT 5-4.
Braley Torris was in the net and made 27 saves and from what I heard, could not be blamed for the loss. Guess the guys get complacant and think that being up 4-0, the game is in the bag. Goes to show you the game is 60 minutes long and the guys can't take a shift off. Hopefully they learned something from this game and come out with a good strong 60 minute effort on Thursday against Canmore Eagles.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Lloydminister proves to be a hands full

Lloydminister Bobcats came to Okotoks on Saturday, Jan 19 on a 3 game losing streak. A win was more than needed. Someone forgot to tell the Oilers though, and they pulled out a 5-2 win. The score was not indicative of the play as the Bobcats played quite well. About 950 people saw the late game heroics of the hometeam. Carter Madsen was the sniper as he netted 2 goals. Bravo to the fans that braved the cold night and came out and cheered the hometeam on.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Oilers rob the Bandits

With 3 regulars out of the lineup, it showed in the first period of the Brooks game on Tuesday night as the Bandits took a 3-0 lead after a natural hat trick by Jarret Granberg. To the Oilers credit, with 2 goalposts and some average goaltending by Brad Eiseness, the game could have been tied after the first.
The second period was a good character building period as Okotoks scored twice and held a huge territorial edge.
The third period saw Amory Mudrewich score his third goal of the year and James Banister winning the game on the PP.
A good comeback win for sure, but the Oilers make it hard on themselves by getting behind in the first period. The third highest scoring team in the league, they have shown they can put the puck in the net. They are also the third best team in goals against, but at times, the defensive lapses have proved disasterous. With a little tightening up in their own end, we can give Camrose a run for their money for first.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Home and home with Canmore this weekend....NOT !!!!!

This was suppose to be a home and home series AGAIN with Canmore Eagles. Fridays game in Okotoks was a 4-2 win for the Oilers, but the win wasn't secured until the last 2 minutes when Brian Doust broke a 2-2- tie. Canmore played a great road game and could have walked away with the win, but after a few lapses throughout the Oilers game, and with good goaltending from Bradey Torris, we pulled off the W.
The return match was suppose to be on Saturday in Canmore, but a chlorine leak in the Eagles arena cancelled the game. No word on when or if a make up game is scheduled.
Next up are the Bandits on Tuesday night at home.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Oilers make one move at trade deadline.

The Okotoks Oilers sent defenceman Jordan McSwain to the Estevan Bruins of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League at the trae deadline. Oilers Coach Dan MacDonald says it's a bit of a homecoming for McSwain who played midget in Notre Dame last season. The Oilers get future considerations in return.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Good start to 2008

Now that all the turkey is eaten and the presents opened, lets turn our thoughts back to hockey.

Our Okotoks Oilers returned to action in the new year with a 3 game road trip where they managed to secure 5 out of 6 points. A 3-2 overtime loss to the Sherwood Park Crusaders was the only point lost to start 2008. The next day the boys came away with a 5-2 win over the Spruce Grove Saints and then a 8-0 shellacing of the Grizzlies finished off the road trip.

Can't wait until Fridays game against the Canmore at home. It seems like such a long time since we have seen a game in town. The guys are rolling along quite nicely. Coach Dan McDonald has the guys playing with confidence and have greatly improved their defensive play.