Photo: Okotok's goaltender Nic Renyard was in top form last night giving up just one goal as the Oilers took Game One of their AJHL playoff series with Canmore by a 2-1 score. (Julie Wilson file photo)
NEXT GAME – Friday, March 6 in Okotoks @ 7 PM
NEXT HOME GAME – Sunday, March 8 @ 5 PM
The Canmore Eagles gave it a great effort but fell just short in Game One of their Alberta Junior Hockey League best-of-five opening round playoff series as the Okotoks Oilers edged the Eagles 2-1 before 700 fans in Okotoks on Thursday night.
Special team play was the difference in the game as Canmore went 0-6 on the powerplay, while the Oilers converted for one key goal on their five powerplay opportunities.
Okotoks received goals from Eric Krienke and Nolan Thompson, while Lane Olson replied for Canmore.
Both goaltenders were sharp throughout the game as Oiler’s Nick Renyard, this year AJHL’s MVP, stopped all but one of the 20 Eagle shots directed his way while Canmore’s Ryan Ferguson stopped 25 of the 27 Oiler shots.
“Tonight was playoff hockey at its best,” said Eagles Head Coach and General Manager Andrew Milne. “Our guys played well. We had our chances but we didn’t capitalize. We have to be patient and carry on with that style of play throughout the series. Ryan Ferguson was good tonight. They got a lucky bounce on their first goal and he responded well with a very solid game. I liked the way our team worked tonight – we didn’t back down and were aggressive on the forecheck. If we continue to work this hard, hopefully we can make this a long series.”
The two teams will hook up again on Friday night in Okotoks before the series shifts to Canmore. Game Three will be played in Canmore on Sunday, March 8 at 5 PM, with Game Four (if necessary) also set for Canmore on Monday, March 9 at 7 PM.
NOTEBOOK: Advanced tickets for Sunday afternoon’s home game in Canmore will go on sale on Saturday afternoon from 2- 6 pm at the Canmore Recreation Centre. The ticket booth will also open early on Sunday at 2 pm.