The Fort McMurray Oil Barons are heading back home after splitting their games at this year’s AJHL showcase.
The annual event featured scouts from the NCAA and NHL.
The MOB got off to a good start winning their first game 6-3 against the Drumheller Dragons.
Head Coach Tom Keca tells Mix News his team did everything he could have hoped for.
“Guys played well in all three zones, capitalized on power plays, got pucks to the net – we did all of the little things that you need to do in order to be successful against a very good Drumheller team.”
The team, however, didn’t play to the coaching staff’s expectations in their second game – losing 5-3 to the Canmore Eagles.
Keca says the biggest difference was their compete level.
“We didn’t play very well against Canmore, they’ve been a very good team, played very heavy, they went to the net, they pushed us around a little bit which as a coach you don’t like.”
For many of the players, it was their first real taste of playing in front of scouts.
Coming away with a well-fought win makes Keca believe that a lot of his players got a lot of interest.
“Our young guys were crucial to the success that we had in that first game – it is a little overwhelming, there’s a lot of schools, scouts, and a lot of distractions but for the most part I thought that our players handled it with a good sense of maturity.”
He notes defensemen Ryan Conroy, who came away with one assist in the two games, garnered the most attention.
“He got the most interest from a lot of Division 1 schools and his future looks extremely bright, he was really good.”
The team has a long break before playing the Calgary Canucks at the Casman Centre on Friday.
Keca adds he’s really looking to see how his team rebounds after a tough loss.