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Okotoks Oilers snap Bandits' home run to earn series split

Brett Huxley scores twice in 5-2 triumph in BCHL Alberta Division semifinal
Okotoks Oilers forward Brett Huxley battles with Brooks Bandit Nick Peluso during the regular season. Huxley scored twice in Okotoks’ 5-2 victory in Game 2 of the BCHL Alberta Division semifinal on April 20 at the Brooks Centennial Regional Arena. The best-of-seven series is tied 1-1. (Remy Greer/Western Wheel File Photo

The Okotoks Oilers have stolen home ice advantage by handing the Brooks Bandits a home defeat for the first time in over a year.

Okotoks secured a 5-2 road victory over the Brooks Bandits in Game 2 of BCHL Alberta Division semifinal Saturday night to knot up the best-of-seven series at 1-1 with the series shifting to Big Rock Country for the next two contests.

Brooks did not lose at home during the regular season and hadn’t been defeated at the Centennial Regional Arena since the 2023 AJHL second round series versus Okotoks.

In Game 2, Okotoks enjoyed a terrific start registering seven of the first eight shots.

Inside six minutes, Brett Huxley opened the scoring with a full circle through the offensive zone leading to a wrist shot from the left circle. Linemate Jackson Rowland then notched his second of the postseason after a strong forecheck led to a Bandits turnover behind the net for the Oilers pivot to deposit into the yawning cage.

The script flipped in a strong second period for the top-seed Bandits.

Okotoks took a 3-0 advantage with captain Dean Spak depositing his third goal of the playoffs on a rebound opportunity. Nathan Free got the Bandits on the board with 3:43 left in the middle stanza on a powerplay. In short order, Hunter Wallace found room in front of goal less than two minutes later to tee up a nailbiter third period.

Needing to tilt the ice back in its favour, Okotoks did just that early in the third frame with a familiar source providing the offence.

Sam Huck, Okotoks’ top scorer in the regular season, notched his second of the playoffs with a breakaway beauty.

Huxley then buried his second of the game on a backhand deke in tight for a crucial insurance goal.

Oilers goalie Christian Green earned his fourth win in five playoff starts, turning aside 32 shots. 

The Bandits took the series opener 4-0 on Friday night with goaltender Johnny Hicks posting a 43-save shutout.

Okotoks will look to take the series lead with the series switching to the Centennial Arenas on Tuesday night for Game 3, a 7 p.m. start.

Series schedule

Game 1: April 19, Oilers at Bandits. Brooks wins 4-0

Game 2: April 20, Oilers at Bandits. Okotoks wins 5-2

Game 3: April 23, Bandits at Oilers.

Game 4: April 24, Bandits at Oilers.

Game 5: April 26, Oilers at Bandits.

Game 6: April 28, Bandits at Oilers.

Game 7:  April 30, Oilers at Bandits.

*All games are 7 p.m. starts

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Remy Greer

About the Author: Remy Greer

Remy Greer is the assistant editor and sports reporter for and the Western Wheel newspaper. For story tips contact [email protected]
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