Huxley, Rowland spectacular as Oilers tie series with Game 2 win in Brooks

BROOKS, AB (April 20, 2024) Jackson Rowland (Calgary, AB) and alternate captain Brett Huxley (Calgary, AB) racked up two points apiece as the Okotoks Oilers defeated the Brooks Bandits by a 5-2 score in Game 2 of their BCHL Alberta Division playoff series on Saturday night.

The Oilers scored twice in both the first and third periods to hand Brooks its first loss on home ice this year. Prior to Saturday’s game, the Bandits had posted a 32-0-0 record at Centennial Regional Arena since the start of the 2023–24 regular season.

Huxley scored twice, Rowland collected a goal and an assist, and Dean Spak (Calgary, AB) netted the eventual game-winning goal on Saturday night. Sam Huck (Calgary, AB) also tallied for Okotoks, which snapped a 14-game losing streak against Brooks dating back to the 2023 AJHL playoffs.

After Huxley gave the Oilers their first lead of the game just 5:25 into the first period, they did not relinquish it for the remaining balance of regulation time. The 2003-born forward circled the offensive zone before firing a shot from the left faceoff circle that eluded Brooks goaltender Johnny Hicks.

Rowland doubled the Oilers’ lead with just under two minutes to play in the first period, capitalizing off a turnover by Hicks and sliding the puck into the yawning cage for his second goal of the playoffs.

The Bandits started to pick up momentum in the second period. Although Spak picked up his third goal of the playoffs to give the Oilers a 3-0 lead just shy of the midway mark of the frame, Brooks responded with back-to-back goals by Nathan Free and Hunter Wallace in the dying minutes to crawl back within one.

The Oilers quickly quieted any potential concerns about coughing up their lead early in the third period when Huck converted on a breakaway to restore the two-goal lead. A little over seven minutes later, Huxley corralled a nifty pass by Rowland before lifting a backhand shot past the glove of Hicks to make it 5-2 Oilers.

As tensions started to boil over in the latter half of the third, Free dropped the gloves with Oilers defenceman Ethan O’Halloran for a spirited bout with 3:37 remaining. The fight occurred during a penalty-filled third period for both teams (Brooks especially).

Christian Green (Boothwyn, PA) stopped 32 of the 34 shots he faced off Bandits sticks to steer home his fourth win in five starts in the 2024 BCHL Alberta Division playoffs. Hicks gave up five goals on 25 shots after blanking the Oilers in Game 1.

The Oilers and Bandits met 11 times during the 2023–24 regular season, with the Oilers posting an 0-10-1 record in the season series. Prior to Saturday’s game in Brooks, the Oilers had lost 14 consecutive games against the Bandits dating back to Game 4 of their AJHL playoff series in 2023.

With the series now tied, the Oilers and Bandits will reconvene in Okotoks on Tuesday for Game 3 of their BCHL Alberta Division playoff series. Tickets for Games 3 and 4 in Okotoks are available at

Recap: Mike Gould
Photo: Davin Beer / Brooks Bandits