The young MOB is looking to make its mark on Alberta.
After a stellar regular season and an equally impressive playoff run – the Fort McMurray Bantam ‘AA’ Barons are off to Olds to battle the best the province has to offer.
The Barons punched their ticket to provincials – after a stellar regular season with a record of 23 wins, 8 losses and 1 tie.
Head Coach Dave Konowalec tells Mix News that if the Barons keep their composure – the sky is the limit.
“You’ve got to take the highs when you can.” Konowalec said.
“The biggest thing, I think is maintaining that even keel and ensuring that you play your simple style. If we just maintain our discipline and our consistency amongst our game, I think we’ll be good.”
Heading into provincials – the Barons have four players in the league’s top 10 in playoff scoring.
Captain Max McCoy is among that group of top scorers – having put up impressive numbers all year long.
McCoy led the Barons and the league with 28 goals and 39 assists in just 32 games through the regular season.
He’s also second in playoff scoring with 14 points in 7 games with a chance to break away from the pack in the coming weeks.
McCoy tells Mix News that although the stats are nice – his focus is set on provincials.
“We’ve had a pretty good season, we all work well together. We’re a pretty fast club and I think we use that to our advantage very often. I don’t think there’s much to improve on – maybe one or two things but other than that I think we’re doing pretty well.”
Defenseman and Assistant Captain, Gavin Konowalec feels confident in the team’s chances this weekend.
He talks about the strengths coming out of the backend.
“We’re really good at breaking the puck out of our own end,” he pointed out.
“We need to work on some things like defensive zone coverage but other than that I think we do really well in the offensive zone.”
Provincials is just icing on the cake – as Fort McMurray will also host the upcoming ERBHL Championship – the first time they’ve hosted the league championship in 25 years.
Coach Konowalec feels it will be a good opportunity to see how the Barons compare to other top teams in the province.
“There’s a few clubs we haven’t seen before, so it’s going to be an embraced challenge,” Coach Konowalec said.
“I think it’s going to be a cool opportunity for these guys to see what the province holds for hockey players in our league. So, we’re taking it game by game, shift by shift and we’ll see what happens.”
The Barons kick off provincials against the rival St Albert Comets – who they’ll also battle in a 3-game series for the ERBHL Bantam title from April 7th to the 9th.
Puck drop for their first game is Thursday at 12:45 pm.