Bulldogs beat Oilers 6-5 in dramatic final-minute takeover

Apr 5, 2024 –
Final regular season game in the BCHL between the Okotoks Oilers and the Blackfalds Bulldogs in Okotoks, AB
(Photo by Chad Goddard)

In a dramatic final minute, the Blackfalds Bulldogs walked out with a 6-5 win against the Okotoks Oilers on Friday night at the Okotoks Centennial Arena.

Their last faceoff this regular season, the Bulldogs met with the Oilers nine times and won five of the games, with three losses in overtime.

The win secured the Bulldogs’ third place spot in the BCHL Alberta Division with a record of 38-22-6-1 while the Oilers sit in fourth at 38-27-3-0.

Aaron Brown also returned to the line up at tonight’s game, having been away since January 27.

It was neck-and-neck right from the first period, beginning with a goal by Blackfalds’ Dakota MacIntosh, picking up the puck immediately following the faceoff win and scoring on Okotoks goaltender Christian Green. From the high slot, his 10th goal this BCHL season was assisted by Alexander Dimitriadis at the eight-minute mark, opening the scoreboard 1-0.

One minute later, the Bulldogs’ Luke Dahlen scored his seventh this season right in front of the crease, before skating into the netminder. Jayden Joly and Tanner Willick got the helpers, doubling the lead 2-0.

But in just a few seconds, the Oilers’ Jagger Tapper would cut the deficit to 2-1 with a goal on Bulldogs goalie Gabe Gratton.

The home team’s Connor Gourley would then tie the game 2-2 within the final minute.

The Oilers were outshooting the Bulldogs 14-8 after 20 minutes of play.

Okotoks slowly started to gain the edge in the second period when Brett Wilson scored two and a half minutes in, now in the lead 3-2.

But Blackfalds’ Otto Hanson evened the game 3-3 just a minute later with a goal from the low slot. Ryan Neumann and Nolan DuPont claimed the assists for his second goal this season.

At the halfway mark, the Oilers’ Ryder De Nys regained the lead, his goal putting them at 4-3.

Blackfalds swapped out goaltender Gratton for Wilson Maxfield a couple of minutes later.

The Oilers were still outshooting the Bulldogs 11-6 in the second period.

Okotoks pushed their lead further in the final period to 5-3, with Sam Huck scoring a goal just before the fourth minute.

With three minutes left to go, the Bulldogs gave it one last push, pulling goaltender Maxfield off the ice. The team capitalized with Dimitriadis scoring at 18:24, tipping in a rebound from within the crease. Ryan Shaw and Easton Adrian assisted his fifth goal this season, now tailing behind the Oilers 5-4.

Keeping Maxfield out of the net, Blackfalds’ Dahlen tied the game 5-5 with a deflection goal and 21 seconds left on the clock. His eighth this season, and second this game, was aided by MacIntosh and Tanner Willick.

Maxfield back in the net for the Bulldogs, it was the Oilers who pulled out netminder Green this time, in need of two points to earn the third-place spot in the BCHL Alberta Division. But Blackfalds’ Hunter Brown scored on the empty net, with the help of Dimitriadis and James Johnson for a 6-5 win with just eight seconds left in regulation.

The Bulldogs greatly outshot the Oilers this time in the third period with 19-8.

Shots on goal

BFB: 33

OKO: 33

Power play

BFB: 0/2

OKO: 0/3

McWilliam Auto Services Three Stars

1st: Luke Dahlen (BFB) – 2G

2nd: Alexander Dimitriadis (BFB) – 1G, 2A

3rd: Sam Huck (OKO) – 1G, 2A

The Bulldogs will play their final game of the regular season against the Spruce Grove Saints tomorrow night at home. Not only is it Fan Appreciation Night at the Eagle Builders Centre, where the first 100 fans will get a prize and an entry to win a gift basket, but the team will also present their year-end awards. Puck drop is at 6 p.m. with the broadcast live on Mixlr.

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