Story Coming In:
The Oil Barons split their first two home games of the season against the Lloydminster Bobcats. During the home opener, turnovers were Fort McMurray’s downfall and they fell 3-1. Carter Schmidt had the lone marker, which came on the power-play, while Gabe Gratton made 31 saves in the loss. The next night saw a complete turnaround from the Oil Barons. Seven different players lit the lamp and they rode a dominating performance to a 7-4 victory. Simon Gaul and Ethan King notched their first career AJHL goals, while Ryan Arnold and Demitri DiFlorio led the way offensively with three points each. Now the Oil Barons turn their focus to the Nutrien AJHL Showcase in Calgary, where they take on the Camrose Kodiaks and Sherwood Park Crusaders. Fort McMurray played Camrose in the preseason, falling 5-4 at the Grant Fuhr Arena. Meanwhile, they battled the Crusaders on opening night, where Noah Wills had two goals in a 5-2 Sherwood Park victory.
View From Camrose & Sherwood Park:
The Kodiaks enter the Showcase coming off their first loss of the season. After starting the year 4-0, including a home win over Brooks, Camrose stumbled in Calgary with a 3-1 loss to the Canucks. Goaltending has been the story for the Kodiaks early in the season, giving up a league fewest 11 goals through five games. Charlie Zolin is sporting a 1.98 goals against average and a .948 save percentage, both in the top five in the AJHL. Meanwhile, Sherwood Park started the season 3-0, but like the Kodiaks, they are looking to rebound. The Crusaders dropped two games in a row, 4-3 to Brooks and 6-4 to Drumheller. Brock Souch has been the Crusaders top forward with six goals and seven points. His six markers are also one off the league’s lead. Logan Hauer and Noah Wills also are having hot starts to the season, both with six points in five games.
Stats Leaders For Fort McMurray:
Goals: E. Arnold, Schmidt & Gruener (2)
Assists: DiFlorio (4)
Points: Evan Arnold (5)
PIM: Nordstrom (20)
Goalie: Gratton: 2-2-0, 3.75 GAA, 0.896%