The Okotoks Oilers are saying hello to their first championship in their history and saying bye-bye to the opening round of the Alberta Junior Hockey League playoffs.
The Oilers clinched the AJHL’s South Division when they blanked the Canmore Eagles 5-0 in Canmore Thursday.
The Okotoks’ victory gave the Oilers a 36-18-1-3 record (76 points).
Okotoks had the chance to clinch the title last night when the Bonnyville Pontiacs beat the Camrose Kodiaks 5-4 in Bonnyville Wednesday night.
The Kodiaks have 74 points with only one game left on their schedule. However, the Oilers have the tiebreaker because they have more wins than Camrose.
The Oilers came out against the Eagles with the full knowledge that they could clinch the South Division with a win.
They came out with the pedal to the medal exploding with four goals in the opening eight minutes for the 4-0 lead.
The Oilers Cody Dion, Nolan Huysmans, Jeff Barrett and John McInnis scored first period goals for the Oilers.
It was McInnis’ 37th of the year as he strives for his personal goal of 40 in a season.
The Oilers all-time leading scorer, Chris Duszynski, closed out the scoring with a goal in the opening minute of the third period.
Meanwhile Oilers goalie Sean Cahill could have watched the Canada-Swiss hockey game he saw so little action.
The Oilers’ stingy defence held the Eagles to just 18 shots, all of which Cahill handled.
Duszynski called the win an important one in the team’s history, but one they have to put immediately behind them.
“We have been second best both years I have been here (prior to 2009-10),” Duszynski said. “But after tonight, we put this to rest because we have got bigger fish to fry.”
The Oilers on Feb. 19 against the Calgary Canucks at the Centennial Arena. Their final regular season game is Sunday at the Centennial Arena at 1:30 p.m. when they take on the Drumheller Dragons.