The Fort McMurray Midget ‘AA’ Junior Oil Barons look to bounce back from rough and tumble effort last weekend.
Through seven games, the Midget Barons are 3-3-1 on the year as they prepare for a weekend doubleheader against the Lloydminster Blazers.
That’s good for second place in their division; however, the team is averaging less than three goals per game in that span.
Head Coach Dan Hodgson tells Mix News he’d like to see more energy out of his offence.
“Our scoring is coming from special teams right now and that is not good enough. You have to be able to score five-on-five as well so, we’ve had a lot of really good chances and if we capitalize on those chances then we’re going to be so much further ahead because we are neck and neck with these teams.”
The Midget Barons will get a little help in net this weekend – with goaltender Gage Cook returning from injury after Jayden Chase held the fort the previous three games.
Hodgson says having two healthy puck stoppers again provides the team with a huge boost of confidence.
“If we’re getting consistent play out of those two guys – and we’ve talked about them being the anchor for this team – the boys get behind them. It just gives you the opportunity to turn the play around and transition the game like you need to do to compete.”
Hodgson adds that to right the ship, his team just needs to simplify their game.
“Create more offence, stay out of the penalty box and continue to play hard. The game of hockey is very simple, you just have to play it in that regard. You overcomplicate things and it creates other problems so we just need our guys to continue working hard and finishing on some of those plays.”
Game One of the Midget Barons doubleheader versus the Blazers gets underway at 6:30 p.m. at Frank Lacroix Arena.
Peewee Barons Playing Like Giants
The Peewee ‘AA’ Junior Oil Barons are red hot to start their season.
The Peewee Barons swept their home opener this past weekend – with 4-1 and 7-3 wins over the Fort St John Flyers – pushing their record to 4-0 on the season.
Head Coach Sean McFatridge says they got big games out of their netminders Lochlan Zorn and Evan Norman.
If they hope to keep their undefeated record intact, McFatridge says they’ll have to stay disciplined.
“We had a lot of penalties last week and I know our penalty killers did a lot of extra work and did an amazing job for us. But that’s taking away from even strength and power plays for us. So, we definitely need to work on staying out of the box.”
Eight players on the roster are lighting it up, averaging over a point per game.
They’re lead by Bronson Seymour – who ranks second in the league with 16 points in four games.
McFatridge has been impressed by several players – but notes it’s been a team effort through the first four games.
“Lochlan Zorn and Evan Norman have both played amazing and Bronson Seymour is playing great but it is a team effort. Everybody is working hard and the lines are jelling really well and it’s nice to see, whatever they’re doing is working.”
The Peewee Barons host the Camrose Vikings for a doubleheader this weekend at Frank Lacroix Arena.
Puck drop for game one is Saturday at 3:45 p.m.
Bantam-Barons Road Tripping
The Bantam ‘AA’ Junior Oil Barons meanwhile are on the road this weekend.
After a victory and a tie over last weekend, the Junior Barons kicked off their three-game trip with a 4-1 loss to the TRAC Whitecourt Wolverines pushing their record to 3-1-1 on the year.
Despite their first regulation loss, Head Coach Keith Breen feels there’s a lot to like so far about this team.
He credits the early success to his players having faith in one another.
“It’s a young group but very mature. We talk about wanting success for ourselves it comes through wanting it for other guys and this team is quite aware of that and they show it time and time again. That’s why we’re in this position right now.”
The Bantam Barons will look to bounce back tonight as they continue their trip in St. Albert – to face the Comets.
That game is underway at 8 p.m.