The Fort McMurray Midget ‘AA’ Junior Oil Barons have won three of four to start their season.
The Barons hosted their doubleheader, home opener this weekend, splitting their series with Maple Leaf Athletic Club of Edmonton, with a 5-3 loss and a 3-2 win.
Head Coach Dan Hodgson tells Mix News it was a big weekend for goaltender Jayden Chase.
He hopes that strong goaltending continues as the Barons get set for a three-game road trip starting with a game against the NEBC Yukon Trackers.
“Sunday, he stood on his head for us. Acrobatics were a huge part of his game. He managed to make some clutch saves and turn things around for us from time to time and that’s what we need. Guys really get behind goalies like that. Again, I have faith in both of our goaltenders this year but Jayden had an excellent weekend and the guys owe him big.”
Hodgson says a lot of credit to their 3-1 start goes to defenseman Braden Remillard, whose 4 points leads the team.
He’s looking for the stud d-man’s consistancy to continue heading into the road trip.
He’s a really physical presence out there, he’s got a very hard shot, one of the go to guys, he’s the spirit of the dressing room and he keeps the guys going and pumped up and he’s a positive influence for those younger guys who are looking for leadership in the room. We’ve been looking at him to log the ice-time and it’s been paying off for him.”
One player up front who’s stood out for Hodgson through four games is forward James Dowd, who scored a pair of goals over the weekend, bringing his point total to 3.
Hodgson has high expectations for the 5 foot 10 forward, this season.
He’s got that natural hockey sense about him and he’s a hard-working kid, very coachable and the guys look up to him as well. So we put a letter on him this year, we feel he’s very deserving of that and I expect very big things from him this year. He’s one of our clutch players, for sure.”
With three games on tap in three days, Hodgson knows his team will be in for a tough challenge this weekend.
He just hopes the strong start can give his team the motivation it needs to keep things rolling.
“I am hoping we can play the same style of hockey. We need to build on the things we need to learn and keep going forward. You just have to take it one game at a time, you’re going to hear that a lot from me this year but it all comes down to one-shift at a time basically throughout the season and you hope for the best.”
The Barons kick off their weekend tripleheader against the NBEC Yukon Trackers on Friday, with puck drop at 7 p.m.
On Saturday, they’ll face the Peace River Royals before capping off the weekend with a game on Sunday against the Whitecourt TRAC Wolverines.