Story Coming In:
The Oil Barons were one of the busiest teams during Wednesday’s trade deadline. Out are Gabe Gratton, Evan Arnold, Keefe Gruener and Simon Diaz. Joining the blue and gold are Keenan Ingram, Liam Cox-Smith, Jaxon Priddle and Gage Stewart. They join a Fort McMurray squad that struggled in its first three games of the Carter Duffin era, dropping all contests including a pair of lopsided defeats at the hands of the Spruce Grove Saints and Sherwood Park Crusaders. With a full week of practice, the Oil Barons are feeling more prepared for a pair of games against a top four team in the league. Tightening up defensively will be the focus for the MOB as they gave up 21 goals in their last three games, while fans will be interested in seeing the impact of the new faces in the lineup. With the Oil Barons sitting in 14th place, three points above the playoff line, every game becomes even more crucial for Fort McMurray.
View From Okotoks:
Since the calendar flipped to the new year, the Oilers have been on a mission. Okotoks is a perfect 5-0 in January having scored six or more goals in each of their last four games. It all starts with Sam Huck on offense. The University of Western Michigan commit is third in the AJHL with points, including 10 game winning goals, the most by any player this season. With another top 10 points getter in Hunter Sawka and a host of weapons in Jack Silverberg, Owen MacNeil and Jackson Rowland, the Oilers are a team that have multiple contributors to their offense. Special teams is also a strength for Okotoks, as they boast the top power-play in the league and the second best penalty kill. These attributes make the Oilers a bona fide contender for the league championship.
Stats Leaders For Fort McMurray:
Goals: Gaul (18)
Assists: Lamanna (17)
Points: Gaul (26)
PIM: Hoogendoorn (72)
Goalies: Nelson: 6-8-0-2, 3.68 GAA, 0.911%, 1 SO