Story Coming In:
Fort McMurray’s losing skid stretched to nine games. The last time the Oil Barons dropped nine in a row was to close out the 2015-16 season. Defense has been the main culprit for the blue and gold, as they have given up four or more goals in every game of their skid. The Oil Barons’ two games in Lloydminster saw a swing of matchups. Special teams doomed the MOB in the first game, as the power-play went 0-for-7 and the penalty kill went 5-for-9 in a 7-0 blowout. However, Saturday’s game saw the penalty kill step up and go 6-for-6, while a pair of power-play goals gave Fort McMurray a chance, before they ran out of gas and fell 5-4. Anthony Campbell and Carter Schmidt continue their excellent play, producing a handful of points in their last five games, while newcomers Jaxon Priddle and Liam Cox-Smith found themselves on the scoresheet for the first time as an Oil Baron this past weekend. Continued steps forward on defense and consistency on offense will be key for Fort McMurray as they try to snap their losing streak and stay in a playoff position.
View From Drumheller:
The Dragons are having a January to forget. Through nine games in the month, Drumheller has gone 3-4-2. Their last outing, a 4-2 win over the Drayton Valley Thunder, which saw the Dragons snap a four game losing skid. If there’s one good sign for the Dragons, they have outshot their opponents in January in every game except one (a 6-5 overtime loss against the Brooks Bandits). Drumheller continues to lean heavily on Vann Yuhas. The Medicine Hat product consistently puts up points for the Dragons with 48 points in 45 games, while he’s currently on a three game point streak. Drumheller has also seen the emergence of rookie goaltenders Sean Cootes. The 18-year-old from Sherwood Park sports the fourth best goals against average in the AJHL at 2.25, while holding a record of 9-3-2-2.
Stats Leaders For Fort McMurray:
Goals: Gaul (18)
Assists: Lamanna (19)
Points: Gaul & Lamanna (26)
PIM: Hoogendoorn (86)
Goalies: Nelson: 6-9-0-2, 3.90 GAA, 0.907%, 1 SO
Stewart: 0-4-0-0, 5.45 GAA, .879%