Story Coming In:
The Oil Barons entered the Christmas break sporting a .500 record in December, their best for a single month this season. A convincing win over Drayton Valley was followed up by a shutout loss at the hands of the Whitecourt Wolverines. Ryan Arnold found his form leading up to the break, sporting 10 points in eight December games, while Vincent Lamanna had four points in the last three games, including a three assist night against Drayton Valley. The Oil Barons also received excellent goaltending from Gabe Gratton, who allowed two or fewer goals in each of his last three games. In the post-Christmas schedule, Fort McMurray looks to solidify their playoff positioning and climb the standings. A big step towards that is beating the teams below them in the standings, which has been difficult for the MOB. In 10 games against the three teams below them in the standings, Fort McMurray has only won one of those games. This weekend’s series against Camrose is an excellent opportunity to turn that storyline around.
View From Camrose:
The start of the season looked promising for the Kodiaks. Starting the campaign with a 5-1-1 record, Camrose was tied for first and sported a massive win over the Brooks Bandits. Since then, it’s been all downhill for the Kodiaks. After the AJHL Showcase, Camrose has a record of 5-22-3, watching themselves drop out of a playoff position in the AJHL. Finding offense has been an issue from the Kodiaks. Camrose has only mustered 84 goals this season. The roster has also undergone a number of changes since opening day of the season. The Kodiaks have two new goaltenders in Carson Ironside and Elliott Pratt, while they have also seen departures of Oliver Gabrielson and Myles Gauld. If there is one thing that is giving Camrose confidence as they head to Fort McMurray, it’s the fact they are 2-0 against the Oil Barons so far this season.
Stats Leaders For Fort McMurray:
Goals: Gaul (15)
Assists: Lamanna (14)
Points: Gruener (23)
PIM: Schmidt (58)
Goalies: Nelson: 5-6-0-2, 3.39 GAA, 0.920%, 1 SO
Gratton: 7-13-2-1, 3.49 GAA, 0.906%