Story Coming In:
Since the start of October, Fort McMurray has been playing .500 hockey. As the Oil Barons are in the midst of a crucial part of their schedule, they look for their first weekend sweep of the season as they face Drayton Valley for their first of three meetings over the next four games. Vincent Lamanna is coming off an excellent performance the last time Fort McMurray played. The Sturgeon County product posted a four point afternoon, as the MOB defeated Canmore 5-4 on Sunday. Brett Boucher is also starting to find his game with points in back to back games, while Noah Nelson continues his excellent start to the season, leading the AJHL in save percentage. The Oil Barons had plenty of success against Drayton Valley last season, winning four of six meetings. With the two teams close to each other in the standings, Fort McMurray is hoping their previous success against the Thunder will carry over to this season.
View From Drayton Valley:
The Thunder’s last game saw them down one of the top teams in the AJHL, a 6-4 come from behind win over the Blackfalds Bulldogs. Adam Grenier led the way on Sunday with a goal and four assists, as the Thunder scored three goals in the last four minutes of the game. Chazz Nixon has been a workhorse in Drayton Valley’s crease, as he is tied with Nelson for the best save percentage in the AJHL. However, the Oshawa native will miss the first game at Centerfire Place, as he finishes serving his three game suspension. On offense, Grenier leads the Thunder in points with 16, while Ryan Neumann has put up 15 in 17 games. The biggest question mark for Drayton Valley will be their defense. Over the last four games, the Thunder gave up four or more goals against the likes of Blackfalds, Whitecourt, Camrose and Okotoks.
Stats Leaders For Fort McMurray:
Goals: Gaul (8)
Assists: E. Arnold, Gruener & Ringor (7)
Points: Gruener & Gaul (12)
PIM: Schmidt (38)
Goalies: Nelson: 4-4-0-1, 2.96 GAA, 0.928%, 1 SO
Gratton: 3-7-1-1, 4.00 GAA, 0.900%