Story Coming In:
The Oil Barons hit the road for their first southern Alberta road trip of the season, as they visit the Brooks Bandits on Thanksgiving and the Drumheller Dragons on Tuesday. Fort McMurray is looking to snap a four game losing skid, after a strong effort on Friday against the Sherwood Park Crusaders in a 2-1 shootout loss. It’s been a long time since the Oil Barons beat the Bandits. The last time they achieved that feat was on September 30th, 2016, while you have to go back to 2014 to find the last time the Oil Barons won in Brooks. The MOB has had more recent success against the Dragons. Fort McMurray took two of three contests last season, while they are 5-4-1-0 in their last ten meetings against Drumheller. However, with both opponents in the top four in the AJHL, neither game will be an easy out for the Oil Barons.
View From Brooks & Drumheller:
In a way, it feels like a slow start to the season for the Bandits. That’s a strange thing to say about a 7-1 team, but with how dominant Brooks has been in recent seasons, this year feels different. Take away their last outing, an 8-0 thumping of Drayton Valley, and the offense hasn’t been as dynamic as the last two seasons. One thing that has remained is a suffocating defense. Brooks has allowed a league fewest 13 goals against, while sporting the best penalty kill unit that has been clicking at a 94.9% success rate. The Drumheller Dragons have found success from the opposite side of the scale. Drumheller scored the third most goals in the AJHL, while seeing their power-play click at a blistering 28.2%, good for first in the league. Add in a motivated Jameson Kaine in goal and it’s no wonder why Drumheller is tied for the top spot in the league standings.
Stats Leaders For Fort McMurray:
Goals: Huang (3)
Assists: Ryan Arnold, Ringor & DiFlorio (4)
Points: Ryan Arnold, Huang & Ringor (6)
PIM: Nordstrom (20)
Goalie: Gratton: 2-4-0, 4.67 GAA, 0.871%