Oilers eliminated with 5-1 loss to Brooks in Game 7

BROOKS, AB (April 30, 2024) — The Okotoks Oilers’ 2023–24 season officially drew to a close as they fell to the Brooks Bandits by a 5-1 final score in Game 7 of their BCHL Alberta Division playoff series on Tuesday night.

Rylan Brown (Sherwood Park, AB) scored the Oilers’ lone goal in their season-ending setback at Centennial Regional Arena in Brooks. Christian Green (Boothwyn, PA) stopped 41 of 46 shots in his 10th start of the postseason.

The Oilers fell behind in the opening minute of the first period when Caelan Fitzpatrick scored a power-play goal with Dean Spak (Calgary, AB) in the penalty box serving a hooking penalty. Brooks did not lose a game in the series in which they led at any point.

Nathan Free doubled the Bandits’ lead with the eventual game-winning goal at the 4:44 mark of the second period. Brown got the Oilers on the board late in the middle frame, but Fitzpatrick answered right back off a bang-bang play right in front of Green’s net to restore the Bandits’ two-goal cushion.

Brooks tacked on two more goals in the third period to seal the Game 7 victory. Nick Peluso added his first goal of the playoffs just 29 seconds in to make it 4-1; then, Fitzpatrick capped off his hat trick just past the midway mark of the final frame to extend the lead to 5-1.

The Oilers lost all four odd-numbered games in the series and only won once in four games at Centennial Regional Arena. They nevertheless managed to push the reigning National Champions to the maximum of seven games after sweeping the Spruce Grove Saints in the play-in round.

With the series victory, Brooks will move on to face the Sherwood Park Crusaders in the best-of-seven BCHL Alberta Division final. The Oilers would like to congratulate the Bandits on a hard-fought series.

Recap: Mike Gould