Story Coming In:
The Oil Barons have a golden opportunity to climb the AJHL standings. If all goes their way, Fort McMurray could find themselves even with Grande Prairie in 11th place by the end of the weekend, and put themselves within striking distance of a home playoff spot. Recent play by the Oil Barons indicates they can do just that. In their last seven games, the MOB has gone 4-2-1, including a pair of wins over the Blackfalds Bulldogs. Scoring has come from various players throughout the lineup, with the last six games seeing the rise of Carter Schmidt (7 points), Vincent Lamanna (7 points), Evan Arnold (6 points), and Rylan Ringor (6 points). A number of players also scored their first goals as Oil Barons recently, including Noah Heinrich, Dylan Bidyk and Demitri DiFlorio. What is probably most impressive about this team is the way they’ve come together as a unit over the last couple of weeks. The coaching staff has commended the Oil Barons for playing the right way and being a resilient group compared to the start of the season. If they continue to take these strides forward, then Fort McMurray could find themselves in the same conversation of good teams in the league along the likes of Calgary, Whitecourt, Bonnyville and Drumheller.
The Grizzlys are trying to hang in the playoff race as the league approaches its Christmas break. Olds currently sits eight points out of a playoff spot with four games remaining before the holidays. The Grizzlys have gone 2-2 over their last four games, however, major changes have been made to their roster since they last played the Oil Barons on October 27th. The offense still revolves around Ryder Many Grey Horses, Cade Moxham and Greye Rampton who combine for 57 points. 2006-born forward Mitchell Patrick has also thrived in his increased role and will look to build off his hat-trick performance against the Oil Barons. Olds will also rely heavily on their goaltender, Aiden Comeau. The California product has played in 27 of the Grizzlys 32 games this season, while sporting a 2-0 record and a .942 save percentage against Fort McMurray this year.
Stats Leaders For Fort McMurray:
Goals: Gaul (13)
Assists: Evan Arnold (13)
Points: Gruener (19)
PIM: Hoogendoorn (49)
Goalies: Nelson: 5-6-0-2, 3.32 GAA, 0.922%, 1 SO
Gratton: 6-11-1-1, 3.48 GAA, 0.907%