The Olds Grizzlys were going into Tuesday’s night battle with their memory erased of the 6-2 loss at the helm of the #1 ranked team in the nation two weeks earlier. After all, this was a completely different Grizzlys line-up that now sports the names of Heck, Eremenko, Kulynych, and Tamagi on the back of the Black and Gold jerseys, and confidence has been riding high after winning 7 of their past 10 games.
Brooks opened the scoring 10:10 into the first period on a shot from Reners with the helpers going to Mason and Makin. Less than two minutes later, the Bandits expanded on their lead while on the powerplay on a goal from Maclise assisted by Pilling and Smiley. Brooks would maintain the 2-0 lead heading into the second period.
The second period seen tight-checking hockey with not a ton of chances. With less than four minutes left in the period, however, and the Grizzlys on a 5 on 3 powerplay, Matthew Marcinew took a cross-crease feed from Brandon Clowes and tipped the puck into the net to cut the lead in half. Christ Stachiw was credited with the other assist. The goal marked the end of a 0 for 34 powerplay drought.
The third period featured great end-to-end action with plenty of chances for both teams. With the Grizzlys pressing hard, the Bandits Maclise picked up the pick, beat the Grizz defenceman and scored his second of the game to take a 3-1 lead with only 1:47 left in the game. But the Grizzlys did not give up, even against a team with only one loss this year. With the goalie pulled and the Grizzlys buzzing, Jordan Lajimodiere got the puck at the blue-line and fired a shot on net that got through the traffic and found the twine. The goal came with 42 second remaining. Coach Brett Hofpe called a time-out to refocus the troops and the Grizz went back to work. With the seconds ticking down and the puck in the corner, Dylan Hubbs desperately threw the puck at the net and Marcinew was there to deflect it home with only 1 second left in the game. Bart Moran has the other assist.
The 3 vs. 3 overtime format kept the fans on the edge of their seats for the entire 5 minutes but no goals were produced in the exciting hockey action. For the first time this season, the Grizzlys headed to a shoot-out. Fate was not on the Grizzlys side as Maclise and Lee scored for the Bandits and Clowes and Marcinew could not resulting in the shoot-out loss. Grizzlys tender Ethan Jemieff received Player of the Game stopping 32 of 35 shots. Olds was outshot 35-26 and finished 1 for 8 with the man advantage.
With the point, the Grizzlys move up to 30 points and sit alone in 5th place in the South Division with a 14-16-2 record. They are 1 point back of 4th place Drumheller and 4 points ahead of 6th place Calgary Mustangs. The Grizzlys continue their homestand this Thursday against the Bonnyville Pontiacs and will play their 5th game in 7 nights Friday against the Okotoks Oilers. Puck drop is 7:30pm each night.