The Okotoks Oilers trail a series for the first time in the 2019 AJHL playoffs after losing game one 7-5 to the Bandits in Brooks last night.
The Oilers were without their head coach Tyler Deis, and forward Quinn Olson after the league handed out a one game suspension for playing while ineligible in their first game of the playoffs.
Olson, the Oilers' third leading point scorer in the playoffs, was given a ten minute misconduct in game one of the Oilers' opening round series against the Calgary Canucks. However, Olson was on the ice for a goal scored 35 seconds after the penalty was assessed. At the time, the league deemed that no further disciplinary action was required.
However, the league reversed course ahead of the Oilers' AJHL South Finals series vs. Brooks. Not only was Olson barred from playing the game, but Oilers coach Tyler Deis was forced to sit out as well.
Deis said that the Oilers were unaware of Olson's penalty, and that the referee didn't tell the bench Olson was given the misconduct after the play.
The Oilers managed to put up a fight against the league-leading Bandits, despite missing those two key pieces. Ben Evanish led the way with two goals and an assist in the losing effort.
The Bandits went ahead 6-4, with a goal from Andrew Lucas at 9:22 of the third period. The Oilers managed to come back within one only 31 seconds later, as Ryan Grant set up Louis Jamernik. Unfortunately, that's as close as the Oilers would get. The Bandits eventually added a seventh goal on an empty net with 1:06 left to play.
Olson and Deis will be back for game two. Okotoks will look to even up the series tonight when the teams battle in Brooks. The puck drops at 7.
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