Story Coming In:
Tuesday saw the Oil Barons score a huge win over the Blackfalds Bulldogs to snap their four game losing skid. Carter Schmidt led the offense with a goal and an assist, while Gabe Gratton continued his hot play stopping 26 shots in the 2-1 win. Despite a 2-4-1 record since October 28th, Gratton has been excellent, sporting a 2.68 goals against average and a .931 save percentage in that span. The biggest key for the Oil Barons is finding some offense. Fort McMurray has scored the third fewest amount of goals in the league with 61 and they have a power-play ranked 14th in the AJHL. Keefe Gruener and Simon Gaul lead the team in points with 16, but the MOB are hoping to get more from the likes of the Arnolds, Rylan Ringor and Ethan Sundar. Fort McMurray is also hoping last year’s success against Grande Prairie carries over to this season. In six meetings, the Oil Barons went 5-0-1 against the Storm, including a perfect 3-0 at home. As Fort McMurray continues to fight for a playoff spot, wins against opponents like Grande Prairie are crucial in their road to success.
View From Grande Prairie:
The Storm have been playing .500 hockey as of late. Sitting in 8th place in the AJHL standings, Grande Prairie has gone 4-4-1-1 in their last 10 games, including 1-3 in their last four. Injuries and suspensions played a role in Grande Prairie’s recent results. Kaiden Bugera, Tomis Marinkovic and Dylan Thorn have all served suspensions, while the Storm also have been without the likes of Zachary Wilson and Eliott Mikesch due to injury. Marinkovic is eligible to return to the lineup after serving his two game suspension. The Coquitlam, BC product was named AJHL player of the month for October and leads Grande Prairie in goals scored with 16. The former Calgary Hitmen also has eight multi-point games so far this season. Another former WHLer has solidified the crease in the form of Nicholas Jones. With seven wins and a goals against average of 2.53, the pride of Calgary has proven to be a difficult man to beat.
Stats Leaders For Fort McMurray:
Goals: Gaul (11)
Assists: Gruener (9)
Points: Gaul & Gruener (16)
PIM: Hoogendoorn (45)
Goalies: Nelson: 4-5-0-1, 3.25 GAA, 0.922%, 1 SO
Gratton: 4-10-1-1, 3.56 GAA, 0.907%