Vernal Oilers 4 vs. Vegreville Vipers 1
Vernal made its Showcase debut Monday morning due to mechanical issues with transportation that prevented them from making it on Sunday. In what was a chippy and scrappy game, the Oilers came out on top with a 4-1 victory.
They didn’t win a million dollar grand prize, but the Oilers hit the jackpot with three sevens on the same line. Alexandr Urusoz (7) and Artur Aloyan (77) mix and matched for their first three goals of the game. Aloyan scored a hat trick to lift the Oilers.
Urusov opened the scoring at 24:17 with a helper from Aloyan, and then vice-versa at 18:33 to make it 2-0. The lucky sevens kept pushing the play and again combined for the third goal with just seconds left in the frame.
Taking the 3-0 lead into the second half was exactly what Vernal needed especially because the Vipers began to out-chance them. Oilers netminder Cole Manahan was able to string together multiple saves to maintain the lead. He held on as long as he could but unfortunately could not secure the shutout. Dawson Bilyk eventually put one past him late in the game bringing the Vipers within two.
But the stroke of good fortune lied with Aloyan who wrapped up the three goal outing for himself.
Cold Lake Aeros 7(SO) vs. Hinton Timberwolves 6
Eight rounds of shootout determined the winner between Cold Lake and Hinton following a scoreless overtime. Nathan Stevens had the game winning goal beating Ethan Raynaud.
A second half push by the Hinton Timberwolves made for a rollercoaster ending in this matinee showing. Marian Pazitka and Dylan Bauer shined for their teams as both registered hat tricks—Pazitka scored four and led all skaters in goals, but tied Kyle Avery of Cold Lake with five points each.
Hinton was able to erase 4-1 and 6-2 deficits. They showed signs of dominance early on and carried that momentum into the first power play of the game. Brody Hsiao was forced to make clutch saves during the Timberwolves onslaught, and in doing so, shifted the momentum in favor of the Aeros.
After the power play, Cold Lake had a goal disallowed due to a holding, however, it did not hinder them as they paced forward with four straight goals making it 4-0 at 4:57 of the first. At this point the Aeros stymied the Timberwolves with a 10 shot lead.
Marian Pazitka decided to take matters into his own hands. It was gritty to pretty when he corralled a loose puck in Hsiao’s crease and poked it into the back of the net at 2:41 of the first. He followed his effort within 57 seconds, this time capitalizing on the T-Wolves second power play, and the game went to the half 4-2 in favor of the Aeros.
If Hsiao’s saves in the early first gave Cold Lake life, then Ethan Raynaud lifted Hinton with a flashy save to open the second half keeping the game 4-2. This empowered the Wolves enabling them to creep up in the shot count.
Cold Lake was still able to get another two goals on the board including a power play goal from Dylan Bauer at 17:31 of the second. This put Hinton in a deeper hole as they were back to the four goal deficit.
By the latter half of the second, Hinton had overtaken the shot count but were still down in the score. Speedy play on the wings opened up plenty of opportunity for Hinton, and Ethan McPherson triggered four consecutive goals while Petr Teuber tied the game at 6-6 with two
Vernal Oilers 7(ot) vs. Barrhead Bombers 6
JayVon Fogelgren scored the game winning overtime goal to skate past the Bombers for a fourth consecutive game.
The Barrhead Bombers did not want to lose four consecutive games to the Vernal Oilers. Prior to the Showcase, the Bombers paid a visit to the Utah side for a three game set, and found themselves on the wrong end of a sweep.
At the Showcase on Monday, the Bombers came out against the Oilers in different fashion and looked like a completely different group. The likely start that saw Vernal putting one up on the board first, happened, though no body predicted the Bombers to not only outshoot Vernal for the majoriy of the game, but also trade goals with them to push past regulation.
The Oilers move to 12 wins in a row since dropping their only regulation loss on Halloween. Joshua Kochan and Artur Aloyan each registered five points—although Aloyan scored a hat trick in Game 1 that morning.
A slapper at 22:22 from Alexandr Urusov made it past Jayden Schirmers to give Vernal an initial 1-0 lead. The Utah side wasn’t able to ride the momentum from the beauty of a goal, and conceded as Kochan roofed one himself with a shot from deep in the slot.
Kochan gave new life to his squad. After leveling the game Kochan found the back of the net for the second time. A broken play in the neutral zone resulted in a breakaway in which Kochan raced to the puck despite the goalie rushing out of his crease. Presley Toth made it a two goal lead at 3:02 of the first, sending it to halftime at 3-1.
Vernal got off to a quick start in the second half chipping at the Bomber lead and slowly narrowing the margin. They were able to get within a single goal before Alac Rice and Andyn Bilsky made it 5-2 for Barrhead. The unprecedented lead over Vernal held on for about seven minutes but they just couldn’t detain the last ditch efforts by the owners of the longest active win streak in the league.
Jayce Yadon, Aloyan, and Luke Parry combined for three consecutive goals, and the hockey gods had mercy on Schirmers when a puck got past him and began to slowly roll into the net at 9:48. A well positioned Bomber was able to blast the puck out of the crease in time.
Andrei Ivanov and the Oilers made the most of the final minute of play when with just 16 seconds remaining, were able to tie the game at 6 to send it to overtime.
JayVon Folgegren notches his 13th goal of the season with the stunner at 4:09 of OT.