*Written/Supplied by the Okotoks Oilers (click on link for video highlights)
Sam Moshurchak (Calgary, AB) had the game-winner midway through the second period, as the Okotoks Oilers broke a 2-2 deadlock en route to a 3-2 win over the host Drumheller Dragons on Saturday night in Game 5 of their AJHL South Division semifinal series.
Jack McNaughton (Calgary, AB) continued his stellar postseason play, stopping 24 of 26 shots for the win, which puts the Oilers up 3-2 in the series and one win away from a berth in the AJHL South Final.
Less than five minutes in, a centering pass from defenceman Logan Magowan (Calgary, AB) found rookie forward Austin Reschny (Macklin, SK) in front of the Drumheller net; he managed to deflect the puck home to give the Oilers the early lead. They would double that lead only five minutes later, after Connor Gourley (Calgary, AB) forced a turnover in the Drumheller zone and was denied on a breakaway backhander; but linemate Conyr Hellyer (Okotoks, AB) followed up and knocked home the rebound to make it 2-0.
Drumheller got on the board late in the first on a shorthanded 2-on-1 goal from Kody Willick, and then tied the game on the power play just 1:28 into the second on a power play rebound goal by Vann Yuhas.
But the Oilers retook the lead on a bizarre play at 10:33. Moshurchak’s shot from the right circle hit the side of the Drumheller net, but ricocheted up in the air and off the end glass. It then curled back and bounced off the back of goalie Eric Ward and into the net to give the Oilers a 3-2 lead.
McNaughton made 11 big saves in the third, a period in which the Oilers were outshot 11-3 after having outshot the Dragons 15-4 in the first and 25-15 through two. After a few furious scrambles in front of the net, the Oilers defence pinned the puck against the wall and finished the final seconds of the game to take the dramatic road win in front of another near capacity crowd in Drumheller.
The teams will reconvene in Okotoks on Tuesday night for a potential series-clinching Game 6 at Pason Centennial Arena at 7:00 PM. Tickets are available online at tickets.okotoksoilers.ca.