Shorthanded Oilers rise to the challenge
Hockey: Okotoks extends winning streak in 5-1 victory over Olds
Wednesday, Oct 25, 2017 06:00 am
Needing a spark the undermanned Okotoks Oilers unlocked the door to an offensive explosion.
Rookie defenceman Hoon Kim notched his first Alberta Junior Hockey League goal to open the floodgates in a four-goal second period as the Oilers clipped the Olds Grizzlys 5-1 Friday at Pason Centennial Arena to improve to 13-1 on the season.
“I saw Dylan Holloway going down the wall so I thought I would jump in the rush,” said Kim, a freshman blueliner out of the Edge School for Athletes. “He saw me wide and gave it to me and if I’m being honest I fanned on it a little bit and it found its way into the net.
“I like to play with an offensive presence, it feels good to get the first one out of the way and get the monkey off the back.”
Taking to the ice with just 10 forwards dressed as Tanner Laderoute, Blake Wells and Cole Basnett were out injured the hosts ran into penalty trouble with four minor infractions in the first period alone.
“We just had to be ready to play with everyone,” said Oilers rookie forward Zane Kindrachuk. “Knowing who you’re playing with and what position everyone is and not taking too long a shift being short a couple forwards. We had to play smart and we did a good job of that.”
Okotoks’ fifth-ranked penalty kill got them out of trouble, killing off all five shorthanded situations in the contest.
“The penalties kind of killed our momentum,” Kindrachuk said. “We had a really a good penalty kill which kind of gave us that momentum back.”
Just over two minutes after Kim opened the scoring Holloway doubled the lead on a terrific show of hand eye coordination in batting a rebound out of mid-air into the back of the net. Parker Ward got one back for the visitors answered on the next shift from freshman Oiler Ben Sanderson on a goal mouth scramble.
Jacob Bernard-Docker rounded out the middle frame scoring on a near carbon copy of Kim’s tally with the defenceman joining the rush and picking his spot far side on Olds netminder Ty Grant.
“Coach (Tyler) Deis is really good about us being involved with the rush,” Kim said. “He likes when we go up and we have systems set up where the D comes in a little bit later and the forward hits that guy, usually wide open, for a shot.”
Quinn Olson wrapped up the offence in the final frame on a tap-in after terrific work on the fore-check from linemate Regan Doig.
Ben Howard made 25 saves to improve to 12-1.
It was the first meeting of the season between the South Division foes. Okotoks has now played every team in the South save for the second-place Drumheller Dragons.
“They’re a tough team to play against. They’ve got a little bit of an edge to them,” Kim said of the Grizzlys. “They finish their checks, but we’re a faster team and we used our speed well.”
Earlier in the week Okotoks outlasted the Calgary Mustangs 5-4 in overtime in a rollercoaster tilt at the Father David Bauer Arena on Oct. 17.
Laderoute paced the visitors with the hat-trick, Nick Blankenburg added his fifth of the season and leading scorer Kyle Gordon notched the overtime winner.
Following four games in a seven-day span the green-and-gold get some rest before a back-to-back homestand featuring the Camrose Kodiaks and Lloydminster Bobcats on Oct. 27 -28, respectively.
“We’ve had a busy schedule so these couple days off are going to be key to get rested,” Kindrachuk said. “Then we’ve got to get right back to work and keep getting better every day.”
For more information go to okotoksoilers.ca