OKOTOKS, AB (Jan. 17, 2023) — Shayne Tibbles (Calgary, AB) picked up a goal and an assist and was named the game’s first star as the Okotoks Oilers narrowly defeated the Camrose Kodiaks by a 3–2 score at Okotoks Centennial Arena on Tuesday evening.
Tibbles netted his third goal of the season to open the scoring with exactly two minutes remaining in the first period, depositing the puck past Kodiaks goaltender Freddie Halyk to cap off a nice passing play with Jackson Rowland (Calgary, AB) and Ryan Neumann (Calgary, AB).
Then, after Tibbles helped force a turnover in the Camrose zone late in the second period, Neumann picked up the puck all alone at the foot of the crease and undressed Halyk to make it 2–0. Of Neumann’s nine goals in the 2022–23 AJHL regular season, three have come in the last two games.
“As a team, we’ve been buzzing really good lately,” Tibbles told Oilers play-by-play commentator Keegan Bartram after the game. “My line with Neumann and Rowland, they’re two great players. I think we’ve been playing great together and getting momentum, so, hope to keep it up.
“Big shoutout to the fans,” Tibbles added. “We got a lot of momentum from them.”
The two teams traded goals in the second period. First, Alexander Bryson got the Kodiaks on the board at the 1:18 mark with a slick one-timed shot past Oilers goaltender Parker Sawka (Cochrane, AB); only 15 seconds later, Ethan Rowland (Calgary, AB) returned the favour in identical fashion — albeit from much higher in the offensive zone — to restore Okotoks’ two-goal lead.
The Kodiaks weren’t about to go down without a fight. With Halyk on the bench in the final minute of regulation time, defenceman Lucas Lemieux picked up the puck at the point, walked in, and whistled a pin-point wrister past a screened Sawka to cut the deficit in half.
But that was as close as the visitors would get. The Oilers managed to hold on to clinch a 3–2 victory over their South Division rivals, extending their unbeaten streak against the Kodiaks to four games and their home winning streak to seven games in the process.
Tuesday’s game marked the AJHL debut of defenceman Lucas Magowan (Calgary, AB), who was named to the Oilers’ starting lineup alongside his brother, Logan Magowan (Calgary, AB). The Oilers had three sets of brothers (the Magowans, Rowlands, and Sawkas) in the lineup against the Kodiaks.
The Oilers will now embark upon a four-game road swing before returning home to face the Bonnyville Pontiacs on Jan. 27. Before that, they’ll visit Grande Prairie (Jan. 20), Whitecourt (Jan. 21), Drayton Valley (Jan. 22), and Olds (Jan. 24); you’ll be able to catch all four of those contests on The Eagle 100.9.
Recap: Mike Gould
Photo: Chad Goddard