Conyr Hellyer (Okotoks, AB) scored late in the third period to force overtime but Devin Phillips (Raleigh, NC) responded with the game-winner for the Brooks Bandits in the extra frame to push the Okotoks Oilers to the brink of elimination in their Viterra AJHL South Final playoff series.
Game 3 in Okotoks featured the closest result of the series, with the Oilers falling by just one goal after losing by five in both Games 1 and 2. The Oilers now face elimination for the first time in their 2022 playoff run.
After sweeping the Blackfalds Bulldogs in the first round, the Oilers moved on to defeat the Drumheller Dragons in six games — setting the stage for their matchup against the Bandits in the South Final.
Ryan McAllister (London, ON) and Anthony Cipollone (Purchase, NY) tallied for Brooks in the first period of Game 3 but the Oilers battled back to even the score with two goals 19 seconds apart early in the middle frame.
Riley Bodnarchuk (Okotoks, AB) got the Oilers on the board at the 2:17 mark of the second period, taking a pass from Rieger Lorenz (Calgary, AB) at the top of the left circle and firing the puck past Barwick for his third of the 2022 playoffs.
Dean Spak (Calgary, AB) made it 2–2 with a power-play goal at the 2:36 mark, successfully deflecting a long-range shot by Bodnarchuk right on Barwick’s doorstep for his fifth goal of the postseason. After scoring 11 goals in 60 games during the 2021–22 regular season, Spak is now nearly halfway toward reaching that total in just 13 playoff contests this year.
McAllister briefly curtailed the Oilers’ momentum with his second goal of the game just 1:50 after Spak’s equalizer, but Hellyer restored the tie with a top-shelf snipe at the 13:58 mark of the final period and ultimately sent the game to overtime.
Phillips' winner came off an offensive zone faceoff win, where his quick centering pass deflected off an Oiler's skate and past McNaughton.
The Oilers will need to win Game 4 against Brooks on Wednesday to avoid being eliminated from the 2022 AJHL playoffs. You’ll be able to catch all the action at Pason Centennial Arena in Okotoks at 7:00 p.m. MT on April 13.
— Mike Gould